When the Raiders brought in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, it was widely expected they would also bring in veterans he was familiar with. This has come to fruition in the form of Casey Hayward and Yannick Ngakoue. With the recent news that K.J. Wright was visiting Las Vegas, could Bradley be getting another toy?
With Bradley, the Raiders will be running a 4-3 defense with heavy doses of cover-3. One of the tendencies that seem to follow Bradley is a lack of blitzing. He simply does not bring pressure very often. As such, it is paramount that the linebackers be good in coverage. This is where Wright comes in.
Wright can help in many ways
First and foremost, Wright can help by adding his coverage abilities to Las Vegas. Simply, there are not many linebackers as good in pass coverage as he is. In addition, he is certainly no slouch in the run game. In fact, he was the only player in the league in 2020 to record double-digit tackles for loss and double-digit passes defensed. K.J. Wright would instantly be the best coverage linebacker the Raiders have had in a long time. His presence alone would raise the profile of the defense as a whole.
Another way that Wright could help is his knowledge of the system. The player who would have the most to gain from Wright’s experience is second-year LB Tanner Muse. Still relatively new to the position, Muse is currently penciled in as the team’s starting stong-side linebacker. Coincidentally, this is the position that Wright dominated in 2020. Helping Muse take some positive steps forward not only would make the Raiders a better team in 2021 but for several years from now.
The biggest question about a potential K.J. Wright signing is not whether it should be done, but more so, why has it taken so long? Wright is a perfect fit in Las Vegas as he fills a need, understands the system greatly, and will be incredibly cost-efficient. In a strange twist, the Raiders had a hand in starting K.J. Wright’s now ten-year career. Back in 2011, the Raiders traded for Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry thus opening the door for Wright to become a starter. Since then, he has blossomed into one of the best linebackers in the entire NFL and the Raiders should do everything in their power to bring him to Las Vegas,
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