Tyler Lockett could simply come back to the Seattle Seahawks
This would be the best case for 12s. We all are huge fans of Lockett, right? He is arguably the Seahawks second-best receiver in franchise history behind Steve Largent. He is second all-time for Seattle in receiving yards, touchdown receptions, and receptions. Seeing Lockett play elsewhere would be a lot like watching Bobby Wagner play for the Los Angeles Rams in 2022.
Seattle has three options with Lockett. Release him and save $7 million, keep him on the roster as is but with the massive cap hit that hamstrings the team, or re-work Lockett's deal. This last part gets to be a bit more difficult, however. Wagner's deal before the Seahawks released him in 2022 saved the team $16 million. He was due to make $20 million.
It doesn't make sense for Seattle to re-work Lockett's deal where they are simply moving his cap hit to future years because he will likely be much less effective in a few years and Seattle is just pushing the current cap problem a bit further ahead. That is unless Lockett is willing to re-work his deal to where he gets paid much less than $7 million in 2024 and that seems unlikely for most players.
But Lockett is not most players. He wants to get paid to play professional football, of course, but his relationship with the team is seemingly a closer one than most players have with their teams. That doesn't mean Seattle should take advantage of the relationship with Lockett, however, but it could also be another team doesn't want to give Lockett much more than $5 or 6 million in free agency either. Possibly Seattle releases Lockett and lets him try the free agent market and he returns to the Seahawks if the market is not that lucrative.