With Doug Baldwin’s future suddenly in doubt, the Seahawks may need to make wide receiver a top priority in free agency and the draft.
The Seahawks missed the healthy version of Doug Baldwin last season. We’ll take a deeper look into that in a moment. The concern now is Baldwin’s health for the 2019 season. Will he be ready in time? Will he be 100 percent, or as close to 100 percent as NFL players can be? There’s even the concern Baldwin could retire. For all these reasons, the Seahawks should make wide receiver a much bigger priority that they expected this offseason.
As for Baldwin’s health and its impact on 2018, there’s no disputing that. Even a cursory look at the Seahawks passing attack proves this. It isn’t about the three games he missed as much as it is about his health throughout the season. True, Seattle was 2-1 in contests without him in the lineup. Yet in two losses, he was only targeted once in each game. The Hawks lost those by a total of five points. The main issue was the lack of a running game against the Broncos and the inability to stop the Rams. A healthy Angry Doug could have overcome those troubles.
This is a good time to clarify something. The Seahawks cannot replace Doug Baldwin through free agency at this point. They can definitely find a good receiver. It just isn’t likely that any player still available could fill the very large role of Baldwin. But Tyler Lockett was basically receiver 1A last season as it is. So any potential replacement would need to fill the number two receiver role at best.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will break the bank whenever a team finally decides to give him a long-term deal and naturally that team should be the only organization the seven-year quarterback out of Wisconsin has ever known.
But when hit with the reality of the contract figures that’ll detail the superstar quarterback’s next contract, some 12’s are already starting to get a bit squeamish at the hold over the cap their veteran signal caller will soon have. Spoiler alert: It’s going to be a massive second contract extension for Wilson.
According to CBS Sports cap expert and former agent Joel Corry, the Seahawks will have to start at $35 million per year to even begin to convince Wilson not to test free agency. Remember free agency is where prices go through the roof and if a superstar quarterback ever touched the market, the bidding war/feeding frenzy would be bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. So when talking a contract extension with a star player, an organization is always trying to convince a player to forgo that potential greater contract and take certain financial security instead.
But in rare cases, the organization is just trying to erase the headache of uncertainty and just get a deal done that lets them know where they stand. Negotiating with Wilson is one of those rare times because of the necessity of the quarterback position in the NFL. When Aaron Rodgers reset the market with his latest deal, which pays him $33.5 million per year and has $78.7 million in guaranteed funds over a five-year extension, it was certain that Wilson’s next deal would push much further beyond that.
Rodgers turned 35 during last season. Wilson is nearly a full five years younger and has the numbers, wins and personality to lay claim to being the highest paid quarterback in the game. So $35 million per season is probably the low point on the yearly average for his next contract.
(The Seahawks are getting set to reshape their roster starting with the NFL combine this week. Stay informed right along with us — take five seconds to Sign up for our Free Seahawks newsletter now! R.I.P. Paul Allen)
As the Seahawks slow play their talks with Wilson because that’s business as usual regarding their players entering the final year of their deal, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have given no reason to believe the team won’t give Wilson the world but it has left many wondering if they should. Because of Carroll’s dedication to the run while the league continues to skew further and further towards passing offense, many wonder if the team can put together a Super Bowl-caliber defense with Wilson crippling the cap and Carroll crippling Wilson.