Proposed expanded role for Seahawks' DK Metcalf would be a mistake

Metcalf has become Seattle's best receiver.
DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks
DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett form one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL, but in 2023, Metcalf cemented his spot as the Seattle Seahawks' best receiver. That is not meant to be a slight to Lockett. it is more about the praise that Metcalf deserves.

Even though Metcalf had 13 fewer catches than Lockett last season, Metcalf had 220 more receiving yards and three more touchdowns. Metcalf is also going to be helping Seattle win games longer than Lockett will. Lockett might be entering the last year or two of his career; Metcalf is only 26 years old.

But there is one thing that Lockett, at this stage of his career, nor Metcalf need to be doing and that is returning kicks. With the new NFL kickoff rule, teams are going to have a chance to create more explosive plays in the third phase of the game. Seattle needs one or two excellent returners to take advantage of the rule. Still, those kick returners are going to suffer their share of punishment.

Seattle Seahawks need a different kick returner than DK Metcalf

Risking Metcalf to unnecessary abuse would not be smart. This is especially true if Dee Eskridge can stay healthy for once. He flashed in 2023 that he could be productive as a returner.

The reason for a conversation about Metcalf potentially being a kick returner is that CBS Sports' Jared Dubin recently wrote an article about each NFL team's "ideal" kick returner. Dubin was likely just having a bit of fun with the article, and he probably did not factor in what else the potential returners do to help their teams. For instance, Dubin had the Pittsburgh Steelers' ideal kick returner as quarterback Justin Fields.

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Or there is this: Dubin believes the Buffalo Bills' ideal kick returner would be quarterback Josh Allen while the Baltimore Ravens' returner would be Lamar Jackson. In other words, weigh Dubin's selection of DK Metcalf with a proverbial grain of salt.

Dubin does write that Metcalf's size would be scary for teams kicking off. That is likely true, but again, putting Metcalf in the unusual position - for him - to return kicks means increasing the risk Metcalf is injured. Hopefully, teams will not be kicking off much to the Seahawks if Seattle's defense is doing its job better this season. The four chances Metcalf might return a kickoff is not worth him being hurt and taking away the 10-plus chances he would have to catch passes in a game.

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