Seattle Seahawks Sign Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright To Four-Year Extensions


The Legion of Boom is the Seattle Seahawks’ biggest strength. The team’s defense has been the best in the game for a while now, and general manager John Schneider‘s top long-term goal is to keep things this way. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he’s spent the last couple of days locking up two important players to long-term deals.

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First it was linebacker K.J. Wright, who signed a four-year deal worth $27 million. The deal, which was announced yesterday, will lock up the 25-year-old Wright through the prime of his career. Wright has been one of the most consistent bright spots for the Seahawks this season, playing wherever he’s been needed on the line.

He’s been a good player for a while, but this year has been a breakout of sorts. Wright has emerged as one of the undisputed leaders of a defense that lacks nothing in terms of leadership. His smart, heads-up play has made him a natural captain-type, which, when paired with his physical ability, has made him invaluable. He may not quite be a household name, but Wright is an underrated star, like so many Seahawks defenders before him.

Cliff Avril came to Seattle two offseasons ago as a free agent. His deal’s almost up, but the team had clearly made him a priority. Less than 24 hours after announcing Wright’s extension, the team announced that Avril’s contract had been extended for four more years as well. Operation Keep The Band Together is officially underway.

For $28.5 million, the 28-year-old Avril will call Seattle home for the next four years. He’s a better player than Wright, but his age disadvantage explains why they ended up with nearly the same contract. Four years is a long time, but there’s a good chance Avril is still the same general player he is today at the time his deal expires.

Avril is a monster. He’s one of the game’s quickest defensive ends, coupling agility with brutality to be one of the most obviously deadly players on the field at any given time. He isn’t sacking at the same rate he used to, but he’s still arguably the best in the world at forcing fumbles. As far as pass-rushers go, Avril is elite.

Nov 23, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) celebrates after sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback

Drew Stanton

(5) during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

That’s two more important cogs that the Seahawks now control going forward. Russell Wilson might be the team’s top extension target now, though there are obviously other long-term needs as well. The trouble with a good young team is keeping it together as guys get more pricey. These two moves will help immensely to that end.

K.J. Wright and Cliff Avril will be with the Seattle Seahawks for a long time. They’re excellent players now, and are likely to keep producing at a high level for the next four years. The Seahawks are an elite team in win-now-and-later mode, and these are the exact type of moves that will help them remain great going forward. Kudos to John Schneider for getting these deals done. The ‘Hawks are in good hands.