SEATTLE – Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who could have been a free agent after the 2021 season, isn’t going anywhere for a while.
Lockett and the Seahawks agreed to a four-year extension worth up to $69.2 million that includes $37 million guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. A source confirmed the deal to The Seattle Times.
Lockett, 28, had one year remaining on his contract, due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2021 with a salary cap hit of $14.95 million that was the third largest on the team behind quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
While more specific details of the contract were not available, it’s likely the contract is structured in a way to bring down the cap number for 2021.
Given the team’s typical process for structuring extensions, this likely means Lockett is under contract through the 2024 season.
A third-round pick in 2015, Lockett has topped the 1,000-yard mark in receiving each of the past two seasons and last year set a team record with 100 receptions in a season, breaking the mark of 94 by Doug Baldwin and Bobby Engram.
The contract also is the first step toward keeping a receiving duo that is one of the best in the NFL intact for a while – something that will likely please Wilson. Wilson had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in 2018 when targeting Lockett. Wilson signaled his approval of the deal with a tweet Wednesday morning stating: “The homie!!! @TDLockett12 Let’s go!!! You deserve it all! Love you bro!”
DK Metcalf, who teamed with Lockett to top the 1,000-yard mark last season – only the second time in Seattle history two receivers had more than 1,000 yards each in the same year – is entering the third year of his rookie contract in 2021. Via NFL rules on rookie contracts, that means Metcalf will be eligible for a new contract following this season.
Sewing up Lockett helps answer one key question about Seattle’s future while also rewarding a player who has been one of the team’s most consistent and productive the last six seasons.
Lockett signed his previous three-year deal, worth up to $31.8 million with $11 million guaranteed, in August 2018.
Getting Lockett done also means Seattle can turn its attention to another key player who can be a free agent following the 2021 season – safety Jamal Adams.
Adams, acquired for two first-round picks last summer, has one year left on his contract, due to make $9.86 million in 2021.
It’s widely expected the Seahawks will try to extend Adams at some point this offseason.
But Seattle still has some other work to do for the 2021 season, and freeing up some cap space by redoing Lockett’s deal was undoubtedly a factor in why he got his extension now – the Seahawks haven’t typically done extensions this early in the offseason.
Among the team’s free agents who remain unsigned are linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Wright has been reported to be in talks with the Dallas Cowboys, but the Seahawks are also keeping tabs on Wright. Dunbar was reported by the NFL Network Tuesday to have visits set up next week to Arizona and Detroit, but he also remains firmly on Seattle’s radar.
Redoing Lockett’s deal marked the second time in two days it was revealed the Seahawks had taken a significant step to free up some immediate cap space. The other came Tuesday when it was revealed Seattle had given guard Gabe Jackson a new deal running through the 2023 season that dropped his 2021 cap hit from $9.6 million to $4.075.
Seattle needed the room not only to try to make a few more moves but also to fit in some of its other contracts signed in recent days.
It’s unclear whether Seattle has any more cap-cutting moves on the horizon.
There had been speculation the Seahawks might restructure deals for Wilson and/or Wagner, moving some of their substantial cap hits (Wilson’s is $32 million and Wagner’s $17.5 million).
But doing so would also create big dead money hits for each player in future years, potentially limiting Seattle’s ability to make moves with either after this year, if desired.
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