Tyler Lockett is the one trade I'd hate to see the Seahawks make
In many ways, Tyler Lockett has been the soul of this team since he stepped into a lead role in 2018. Yes, he had a great rookie season, but even making the All-Pro First Team as a rookie doesn't make you a locker room leader. There is zero doubt though that Lockett is one of the Seahawks' most respected players, and has been for the majority of his nine years in Seattle. He ranks second all-time in catches, yards, and TD catches for the Hawks. Accomplishments like that tend to create respect among teammates.
I wrote before the 2022 season even began, that with the departure of Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, Tyler Lockett was the leader the Seahawks needed. That was in no small part due to the statement Lockett made after the Week 11 loss in 2021. As I wrote then, Lockett was the only person in the locker room who addressed the fact that the Hawks offense far too often failed to adjust to the other team. When said by a consummate professional like Lockett, that's not sniping. That's true leadership.
As for his contract, yes, Lockett carries the second-highest cap hit on the team in 2024. A post-June 1st trade or cut would save $17 million, only behind Smith's hit. And sure, you could say that he slid back to the Seahawks defacto third receiver this season. He led the team in catches again, his 79 receptions 13 better than the second-place DK Metcalf. But he only caught three of nine targets against the Eagles in Week 15, and just one of five versus the Steelers in Week 17. It's also true that rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba came on strong in the second half of the season with 40 of his 63 receptions coming from Week 9 on.
Some might say that Metcalf is now the number one WR with JSN being number two. Does it make sense to have your third WR get the second-highest check on the team, the highest if they trade Geno Smith? I would argue that the Seahawks would be far better served by restructuring Lockett's contract. According to overthcap.com, that would save $7 million against the cap. That leaves him still very expensive, but it's hard to argue that he doesn't bring that much value to the team. That being said, there is no shortage of trade partners for Lockett
I'm not sure that the Hawks have a clear number three receiver to step up. Yes, Jake Bobo certainly showed every sign of handling that responsibility, but the Hawks could also lose both Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson in free agency. Bobo saw 25 targets as a rookie and had a phenomenal year. But is he ready to step up and replace JSN's 93 targets, who would slide into the number two role?
Fant had 43 looks and Parkinson 34. Will Dissly will pick up some of that slack, but that's an awful lot of sure-handed catches to let walk out the doors of Lumen Field. I think that would be the worst move John Schneider could make this offseason. Other than hiring Bill Belichick.