Seattle will probably bring back Tyler Lockett
First, I want Tyler Lockett to come back. He has been an excellent receiver for most of a decade in Seattle. He helps take the pressure off of DK Metcalf and will help teach Jaxon Smith-Njigba how to be a good pro. Lockett has also many times come up with huge catches at the end of games that helped decide the outcome in favor of the Seahawks, though this seemed to happen a little less this season.
Lockett had his worst year since 2017 in terms of receiving yards, touchdown catches, and catch rate. He had his second-highest number of drops in his career (5) and second-highest drop percentage (4.1). But he still put up decent numbers if just not the numbers Seahawks fans (and Lockett himself) have become accustomed to.
The biggest issue with Lockett, though, is that his cap hit gets enormous in 2024 and 2025, but Seattle very likely might get diminishing returns from a smaller receiver who is also aging. In 2023, Lockett's cap hit was $11,060,000 but next season that number will be $26,895,000. Should Seattle release Lockett, the team would save $7,105,000. If the Seahawks release Lockett with a post-June 1 cut, Seattle would save $17 million which they can spread out over a couple of years.
The hope is that Lockett does return, but he will probably only do so if he and the Seahawks can agree on re-working his current deal so that Seattle can save some money. Hopefully, the team and the player have built up enough good will over the years to make this happen.