Raiders report: New linebacker to hit the ground running
K.J. Wright has plenty of experience in Gus Bradley’s defense and took time Monday to describe what exactly the “Otto” role entails in the system.
All practices at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, unless noted:
■ Tuesday — Practice, 10:50 a.m.
■ Wednesday — Off
■ Thursday — Practice, 10:50 a.m.
■ Friday — Practice, 10:50 a.m.
■ Saturday — Practice, 11 a.m.
■ Sunday — Off
■ Monday — vs. Ravens, Allegiant Stadium, 5:15 p.m.
Quote of the day
New linebacker K.J. Wright won’t have much catching up to do when it comes to learning defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system.
Bradley was in charge of the Seahawks’ defense when Wright was drafted, and he knows the scheme inside and out.
He believes his role with the Raiders will be to play in what is known as the “Otto linebacker” position in Bradley’s system.
“But if he needs me at any other positions on nickel, (I’ll be expected to) know it and play it at a high level. I’ve played all the linebacker positions. I’ve prided myself on knowing that. Whatever the coaches need from me on Sundays and Mondays, I’ll be there for them.”
Wright was then asked to expand on what exactly the role of the Otto is in Bradley’s system.
“It’s a guy who’s on the ball, off the ball, buzzing to the flat, setting the edge, making plays in the open field, communicating, helping the (middle linebacker) out setting the front,” Wright said. “He’s just a guy who just does everything. Blitzes coming off the edge and does a lot of dirty work and makes a lot of open field tackles. You have to be a baller out there.”
Not just a number
Wright wore No. 50 throughout his 10-year career in Seattle. He debuted Monday in a No. 34 jersey with the Raiders and plans to make it permanent.
The 32-year-old may have done so earlier if the league had allowed it. Under the old rules, linebackers could only wear jerseys between 40 and 59 or 90 and 99. Now everything from 1 to 59 and 90 to 99 is available.
“It feels good,” Wright said of wearing a new number as he gets a fresh start with the Raiders. “At first I had No. 58 and then I asked to please get No. 34. It was my high school number and college number (at Mississippi State). My dad wore 34, so it runs in the family. It’s just a good change already. Nick (Kwiatkoski) is already No. 50, so that was out of the question. It only made sense to go back to my roots.”
Wright’s one-year deal reportedly includes a $3 million guarantee for this season and can reach as high as $5 million with incentives.
He can earn up to $255,000 in roster bonuses and up to $1.75 million in bonuses tied to playing time.
Comings and goings
The Raiders raised some eyebrows by releasing second-year linebacker Tanner Muse to make room for Wright on the roster on Monday.
Muse was a third-round pick in the 2020 draft and the team’s fifth pick in the top 100 that year. Two of those players have now departed without ever playing a down for the Raiders. Muse spent his rookie season on injured reserve and Lynn Bowden was traded before the first game last year.
It wasn’t the only transaction made on Monday.
Wide receiver David Moore and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor were formally signed to the practice squad. Defensive tackle Niles Scott and running back B.J. Emmons were released to make room.