Veteran linebacker K.J. Wright sat at home without a job for months and months until finally signing with the Las Vegas Raiders late last week. The long wait left the roving tackler peeved.
“Very, very angry,” Wright said, via the Associated Press. “I’ve been at peace, but I’ve been mad at the same time, if that makes sense.”
The 32-year-old takes offense that much of the league didn’t think highly enough of him during the first wave of free agency.
“(I) had a lot of people doubt me this offseason, I’m still keeping it going,” Wright said. “I’m thankful to be here, but that burning desire you’re talking about, it’s on 100 right now.
“I’ve been in some situations to where I feel my presence made an impact on us being successful to win.”
The Raiders are happy to get a motivated linebacker with Wright’s skills. Despite getting up in age, the linebacker remains a steady force who can play sideline-to-sideline and wreck the backfield when needed. After a knee injury relegated Wright to just five games in 2018, he hasn’t missed a start. There is a legit argument that the past two years (at ages 30 and 31) were two of Wright’s best in a decade in Seattle.
Wright’s presence could be massive for a Raiders defense that needs playmaking and leadership. The season opener, on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens, provides a difficult task for a defense that has struggled during Jon Gruden’s entire tenure.
“This team is hungry,” he said. “There’s really good energy here, everybody wants to be successful that’s in this building. I love it, it’s really good vibes. We gotta make sure we start fast on Monday. Start fast, come out ready to work.”
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