Most 12s know that Tyler Lockett has been one of the league’s most dynamic players. And he’s poised to be even better this season.
The Seahawks extended the contract of wide receiver/return specialist Tyler Lockett Wednesday. Entering his fourth year for Seattle, Lockett would have been a free agent after this season. According to spotrac.com, his contract locks him in for another three years for $31.8 million, with $20 million guaranteed. This is a smart move for the Seahawks, as I expect Lockett to explode in 2018. In the good way, not remotely like what happened in 2016.
So why did the Seahawks pay over $30 million, $20 million guaranteed, to a receiver who’s never caught more than 51 balls in a season? Isn’t that a lot of money for a number two wideout that has never caught for more than 700 yards? I mean, we’re talking about a player who has a total of three receiving touchdowns in the past two years. This has to be a mistake, right?
Well, those stats are all accurate, as far as they go. The problem is they don’t include his value as a return specialist. Over the past two years, Lockett has amassed 480 yards on punt returns and another 1,555 yards on kick returns. Note, these don’t include the stats from his Pro Bowl rookie season. Add those, and he’s accounted for 3,266 yards and three touchdowns on special teams.
Lockett will get even better with the Seahawks
If you’re concerned that Lockett peaked as a rookie, you should be able to rest a bit easier. He’s said that his broken leg at the end of 2016 affected him for the entire 2017 season. He feels he’s been playing at what felt like 75 to 80 percent of his full ability. Yes, he’s still a bit dinged up, but you can expect him to be stronger, faster and sharper than ever this year.
As Stacy Rost reported for mynorthwest.com, Pete Carroll himself pointed out how valuable Lockett has been for Seattle:
"“Tyler’s been a great Seahawk, an incredibly productive player,” head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. “You check his numbers, nobody’s done more than he’s done in the years he’s been in the league in terms of total yards. He’s just been such a great competitor for us. This is a great chance to reward him accordingly and make him a Seahawk for a long time.”"
Those total yards are 5,274, for those of you keeping score at home. With Lockett back to something approaching peak condition, I expect him to really break out this year. Doug Baldwin is the undisputed number one receiver in Seattle, of course. And when did Angry Doug break out and become recognized as one of the league’s most dangerous receivers? It really wasn’t until his fifth season. In his first three years, Baldwin never topped 800 yards receiving. His career high was 51 catches. Like Lockett, that was in his rookie year, too.
I think it’s safe to say that most 12s are happy with how Doug Baldwin progressed after his first three seasons in Seattle. With Lockett dialed in and living a life-long dream, I see no reason his best seasons aren’t ahead of him.