Seahawks’ Offseason Primer: Wide Receivers outlook
Jonathan George, Oregon Sports News
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett was one of the NFL’s breakout stars in 2018. The Seahawks may have a run-first identity but they are likely to add weapons in the passing game this offseason to take advantage of Russell Wilson’s downfield throwing ability.
Under Contract – Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Amara Darboh, Jaron Brown (FA in 2020) and Malik Turner
Free Agents – David Moore (Exclusive Rights)
Baldwin has long been the center of the Seahawks passing game but he missed three contests due to injury (he had missed two total his previous seven seasons). Even when Baldwin played he was nowhere near as effective as he has traditionally been; his receiving yards have dropped from 1,128 to 991 to 618, which leads to murmurs he could be a salary cap casualty.
Despite his struggles it would be a big mistake for the Seahawks to cut Baldwin. A player of his caliber he doesn’t complain (I’m looking at you Antonio Brown), and he’s a leader in the locker room. He may be on the downside of his career but he’s such a crafty route runner I imagine he will age well like Larry Fitzgerald, Julian Edelman and other technicians before him.
Wilson actually had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when throwing to Lockett (only the second time in NFL history that has ever happened). Lockett had 965 receiving yards, averaged 16.9 yards per catch and caught 10 touchdowns. He was also the Seahawks’ primary kick and punt returner, although that is likely to change as they’ll want to minimize the wear and tear on his body.
The Seahawks extended Lockett before the season on a very team-friendly deal, which was a savvy move by the front office.
Moore looked like a solid #3 receiver at times, averaging 17 yards a catch and catching five touchdowns, but he also disappeared the final five games with just four catches for 34 yards. He was also held without a catch in the playoff game against Dallas and has to be more consistent.
The team will probably re-sign him for peanuts, but he will have to fight to make the team.
The Seahawks signed Brown to be their #3 receiver, but he was first beat out by Brandon Marshall and then by Moore; he finished with only 14 receptions. He did prove to be a solid red zone threat (five touchdowns) but considering he’s expected to make just under 3 million in 2019, I think the Hawks will look for a cheaper option.
Darboh is a former 2017 third-round pick who was injury waived in the preseason and signed by the Patriots. When the Patriots released Darboh he reverted back to the Seahawks’ injured reserve and didn’t play at all. This figures to be his make-or-break year.
Turner spent most of the season on the practice squad but was activated mid-season and had two catches for 20 yards in a game against Carolina. He has good size and was a solid Big 10 player for Illinois in college.
The Seahawks have the start to a solid core but their passing game was too hit and miss last year. Wilson throws a beautiful deep ball but the intermediate game wasn’t really there. Part of that is Wilson’s height, but the Seahawks haven’t really invested in a bigger body receiver in a while. With so few drafts picks I think there is a good chance the Seahawks look to reunite with Jermaine Kearse, the hero of the 2015 overtime win over Green Bay in the NFC Championship who played the last two seasons with the New York Jets.