Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett
I in no way to think Tyler Lockett does anything complacently. He works hard to make himself better and get himself in great shape. But Lockett also needs to prove himself in 2023 once again to some degree. The reason is because Lockett's cap hit skyrockets in 2024 and the Seahawks might have a decision about whether to retain him or not.
Lockett's cap hit in 2023 is $11,060,000 but it balloons to $26,895,000 in 2024. If he were to be released next offseason (again, I in no way want this to happen; I am just speculating on the business of the NFL), Seattle would save $7,105,000. If they were to release him with a post-June 1st designation next offseason, the team would save $17 million. That's a ton of money to ignore.
Lockett is also going to be 32 years very close to the beginning of the 2024 season. That's not old for a human, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth for a smaller NFL wide receiver. Plus, while Jaxon Smith-Njigba might have been drafted to be WR3 this year, he could fully take Lockett's spot next season. Eventually, the Seahawks leading receiving duo will be Metcalf and Smith-Njigba and WR3 will not be Lockett but someone else.
Again, as I can feel the dislike burning from the readers, I believe Tyler Lockett will work his tail off to have another great season for Seattle. But eventually, all players are replaced and if Lockett gets injured and misses a bunch of time or if he isn't as productive as in previous seasons, Seattle might question whether they want to pay him what his contract in currently worth in future years.