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Seahawks sign former 49ers guard Mike Iupati, re-sign linebacker K.J. Wright

Chris Wilson
Mar 14, 2019 at 9:45 AM


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Former San Francisco 49ers guard Mike Iupati will remain in the NFC West in 2019, as the veteran offensive lineman signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. The news was first reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network on Thursday morning:


The Seahawks were searching for a replacement for left guard J.R. Sweezy, who reached a two-year deal with Iupati's former team, the Arizona Cardinals, earlier this week. Iupati will likely fill the void left by Sweezy, who started 15 games for Seattle after returning to the team in 2018.

The Seahawks' offensive line made major strides on the ground last season, helping Seattle's three-headed rushing attack of running backs Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny amass over 2,000 total rushing yards at a 4.7-yards-per-carry clip. Unfortunately for Seattle's first-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the Seahawks' offensive line regressed in pass protection last season, as quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked on over 10 percent of his dropbacks.

Seattle should expect more of the same if Iupati is inserted into the team's starting lineup in 2019. The veteran lineman, who failed to live up to the lucrative contract he signed with Arizona, has proven to be a better asset in the running game than the passing game. In 2018, Iupati graded out as Pro Football Focus' fifth-best run blocker but ranked as the sixth-worst pass blocker in the NFL.

Also on Thursday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Seahawks made a significant personnel move on the defensive side of the ball, as the team re-signed veteran linebacker K.J. Wright to a two-year contract worth up to $15.5 million:


Wright, who enters his ninth season in the league, will continue to line up at WILL linebacker next to All-Pro MIKE linebacker Bobby Wagner in the middle of Seattle's defensive unit. Wright is expected to be fully recovered from the knee injury that limited the linebacker to just five starts for the Seahawks in 2018.

Seattle also re-signed fellow free-agent linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Wednesday, but it's unclear whether the seven-year veteran will be available this season due to his ongoing legal troubles. Kendricks faces significant jail time after the linebacker pleaded guilty to insider trading in 2018. Kendricks will learn his fate at his sentencing hearing next month.
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