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Seahawks mailbag: Answering your questions about DK Metcalf’s future, the Russell Wilson trade and more

Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) runs with the ball following a reception against the San Francisco 49ers during the Seahawks' 28-21 win on Oct. 3, 2021, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

DK Metcalf’s future? Did the Seattle Seahawks make the right move trading Russell Wilson now instead of waiting a year?

That and more in our newest Seahawks Twitter mailbag (questions edited lightly for clarity).

Bucc206 asked: Why would the national media think Seattle should trade DK? Wouldn’t keeping him help Drew Lock or any other QB they go with? I just think it’s stupid (to) suggest trading him. He is (on) pace to be better than (Steve) Largent stat wise.

The reason for the speculation is that Metcalf is now eligible for a contract extension, and if the team doesn’t think it can reach an agreement with him — or decides it doesn’t want to pay what it thinks it would take to keep him — then the time to trade him is now before he plays out the final year of his contract and can become a free agent following the 2022 season.

At that point, the Seahawks would risk getting only as much as a third-round compensatory pick in return for losing him.

If the Seahawks really think they aren’t going to re-sign Metcalf, a trade before the 2022 to maximize what you’d get for him makes business sense.

But that’s where it comes back to the big question — what would Metcalf want?

The recent rise in the receiver market — notably the annual contracts for Tyreek Hill ($30 million) and Davante Adams ($28 million) — means it’s going to take more than it probably would have a few months ago. has updated its estimate of Metcalf’s value at a four-year deal for just over $97 million, or roughly $24.2 million a year.

Seattle has the cap flexibility to make it work after dealing Wilson. The Seahawks have only one player with guaranteed money in his contract for 2023 (linebacker Jordyn Brooks at $2.1 million) and more than $93 million in current cap space for that year.

So this is just going to come down to a decision of Metcalf’s value and if spending $23-25 million a year or so for, say, the 2023-26 seasons for a receiver is what the team thinks is it’s best use of its resources.

An interesting aspect to this is that Metcalf is represented by Tory Dandy of CAA who also represents A.J. Brown of the Titans and Deebo Samuel of the 49ers, receivers who also are now up for extensions.

Who signs first and for what may tell a lot.

Tom71500470 asked: What is the likelihood of (Seahawks general manager John) Schneider neither trading DK, nor extending him? And the likelihood of DK then holding out?

I’d be pretty surprised if this isn’t sorted out one way or the other by the time training camp rolls around, or maybe as in the case of recent contracts for Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams, by early in camp.

The Seahawks have really only had one extended holdout of a player in an obvious contract situation they knew going in might hold out — Earl Thomas in 2018 (I’m not counting Kam Chancellor’s holdout because that came with three years remaining on his contract and wasn’t anticipated by anyone).

Would Metcalf hold out if a deal is not done by camp? What’s more likely is doing what Adams did last year — attending meetings but not taking part in on-field drills or anything that might risk injury.

But as noted above, with Metcalf sharing an agent with two other receivers in essentially the same situation, what one does may well impact what they all do.

And long-term, Seattle does have something of a hole card here if it really wanted to force the issue in the franchise tag after the 2022 season. estimates the 2023 tag number for receivers at $20.1 million.

Seattle might be happy to pay that right now given the way the WR market is going. Metcalf, of course, wouldn’t be happy with that, and usually the goal with the tag is to use it to buy time to work out a long-term extension. Which is why teams usually try to work these things out sooner rather than later when there are more, good options at play.

Realalrau asked: What could the Hawks have received if they had traded Russell Wilson next year or halfway through this year? I can’t think of a comparable situation. You? Would this have been a wiser choice given that they are paying him $26 million this year (in dead cap money)?

Well, this is where the no-trade clause Wilson negotiated in 2019 really came into play.

Knowing he had to approve any trade limited Seattle’s options. It’s known teams that Wilson would not approve a trade to were seriously interested and may have offered more — certainly, the Seahawks may have been able to play teams off one other to incite a bidding war if not for the no-trade clause.

We now know, for instance, that Wilson may have been sending a strong clue when he said in a TV interview the week before the trade when asked about “coming east” to play that “I think the West Coast is better for me right now.”

But with Wilson making clear he wanted out, and there being no realistic hope of a long-term contract extension following the 2022 season, the prospect of him staying for what would have been a really uncomfortable 2022 season for all involved ultimately didn’t make much sense to those involved.

Did Seattle get enough in landing five draft picks, including two first-rounders, and three players? That’s now on the shoulders of Pete Carroll and John Schneider to make the right decisions with all of that loot.

Ouzohawk asked: Throwback uniforms this season?

The answer to this is no, according to team president Chuck Arnold during an interview with Sports Radio 93.3 KJR FM in February.

Seattle has not worn throwback unis in recent years due largely to the one-helmet rule. The NFL has relaxed that rule and teams can now have an alternate helmet, so more teams will go to throwbacks starting this year.

But Arnold said that for Seattle, throwbacks are at least a year away.

“The league has now allowed a second helmet option, so with that, we’re getting closer,” he said. “We won’t see it in 2022, but we’re making really good progress. We know the fans are going to love the throwbacks.”

One reason for the delay that Arnold mentioned is issues producing the uniforms. The Seahawks aren’t alone in this as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stated in a recent press release on why they are waiting until 2023 to have throwbacks “due to global supply chain challenges, we will have to wait one more year than hoped. This is the earliest that Nike can finish production of the orange uniforms.”

But if all goes well, the Seahawks hope the throwbacks will be ready for 2023.