Tyler Lockett deserves a pay increase

Tyler Lockett is only the joint 22nd best paid receiver in the NFL

The importance of timing when it comes to contracts cannot be overestimated.

Anticipating when to agree terms is vital. It provides you with an opportunity to get ahead of the game. While the immediate reaction might be one of surprise depending on the size of the salary — foreseeing progression can provide extreme value.

Kam Chancellor is a good example of this early in the Pete Carroll era. He was made one of the highest paid safeties in the league in 2013 when he signed a four-year, $28m contract. Nobody doubted Chancellor was a fine player and a leader on the team. Yet many questioned the size of the contract. In the end, it was a perfectly justified deal that actually provoked a holdout down the line because it was so reasonable.

The most recent example is Tyler Lockett. There were a few eyebrows raised when he agreed a three-year, $31.8m extension in August 2018. By that point his best season, yardage wise, was his rookie effort of 664. He’d suffered a serious leg injury and in 2017 had only recorded 555 yards and two touchdowns.

It’s easy to forget now but at the time a lot of people questioned the deal. In hindsight, it’s been an absolute bargain.

Lockett has turned into a star. He has 2022 yards in the last two seasons and 18 touchdowns. It’s impossible to imagine the offense functioning without his connection to the quarterback. The trust, chemistry and sheer talent and ability to make the impossible happen is the focal point of the offense.

The $31.8m contract was worth an average of $10.25m a year. Two years later, Lockett is the joint 22nd highest paid receiver in the league. He’s earning less per year than Emmanuel Sanders and Tyler Boyd. His salary is on par with Sterling Shepard’s extension with the Giants.

He’s earning marginally more than Quincy Enunwa.

If I were Lockett’s representatives, I’d be pushing for another extension.

It might be worth Seattle trying to get ahead of the game again. They have an estimated $63m available in 2021 and $187m available in 2022. By tearing up his current contract they might be able to increase his $11.5m cap hit for next season but lower his cap hit this year (currently $12.25m) — then tack on a couple of years paying him in the same range as DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks ($16.2m).

That might seem like a lot of money to pay Lockett down the line — especially with the uncertainty about the NFL economy due to coronavirus. Assuming the league will recover — and it should — there’s little reason to think receivers are going to see a major regression in average salary at the top end. Thus — what might seem costly today ($16m) might actually be a bargain by the time we get to 2022. Even if it isn’t — Lockett is Seattle’s #1 target. And while a lot of his game is built around supreme athleticism and quickness which might fade slightly as he turns 30 — he’s still incredibly savvy and technically brilliant.

Lockett might not be interested in such a pact and might think it’s best to wait this out and perhaps eventually become a free agent. Yet he, more than most, seems to recognise the good thing he’s got in Seattle. He’s among the highest paid on the roster and gets to work with an elite quarterback at a well run organisation.

Securing an extra couple of years on his deal for a top amount could also benefit both parties. Lockett gets the extra security and doesn’t risk becoming a free agent after 2021 in a financially uncertain period for the NFL. The team can lock up one of its very best players while also creating cap room this year (which it badly needs considering there are still significant holes on the roster).

He only turns 28 in September. Getting ahead of the game with Lockett once before paid dividends. He’s also part of the clear definitive core group that they need to add to and commit to. A pay increase for the future would also be a welcome reward for a player who has been underpaid compared to his peers.

Lockett is one of the best receivers in the league and is clearly one of Seattle’s most important players. Their only long term contract commitments are Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. There’s no reason not to add Lockett’s name to that list. Rather than ask him to tweak his deal to create cap space this year — an extension and overall pay increase would be a just reward for a player who has quickly developed into a significant asset.

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  1. James C

    Totally agree Rob. Not to mention that he is by all accounts a great person and teammate. Zero problems and zero diva factor with Tyler.

  2. Kingdome1976

    I say lock him down for life. He is exactly what we want in a Seahawk.

    • TomLPDX


      • Rich

        He’s gonna be big
        So Hawks do wat ya gotta do

    • AlaskaHawk

      I totally agree on locking down Lockett. As long as the Seahawks are looking ahead, is it too soon to lock down
      DK “The Monster” Metcalf for an extra 3-4 years? Lets get proactive.

      • TomLPDX

        My feeling is that we have to just as soon as possible, otherwise, if he gets to year 4, we won’t be able to afford him any longer.

      • Dave Bara

        Great work there Rob. I agree now might be the time for a re-do on his deal.


    • Sea Mode


  3. TomLPDX

    If we could get Tyler locked in for another 3 years and also try to apply the same tactic to DK, our receiving core will be set for years to come, and that will be a boon for Russ. I have a feeling that our 3rd wide receiver will show himself soon and I hope and pray that Dissly is past the ouchies and can become a premier TE along with one of the new TEs we drafted this year. How’s that for a glass half full! 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect WR3 will be Josh Gordon… as soon as the NFL indicates what his status is for the season.

      • TomLPDX

        I wasn’t going to say that because I didn’t want to jinx it…but I sure hope so!

  4. Gaux Hawks

    call john!!

  5. Nick

    100% Rob. Lockett is a part of the core.

  6. vbullen65

    Always a bright spot in my day when I find a new article on this site! You are the best!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you, thanks for reading.

    • timon


  7. Michigan 12th

    I couldn’t agree with this article more. Great thought Rob.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

  8. hawkfanforetenity

    Lockett seems like exactly the type of role model you want to keep as a foundational piece. He’s so underrated in league media coverage.

    It’s interesting how shrewd the Seahawks are with contract extensions. I’m trying to think of any that look bad over the years. I can’t really think of any, off the top of my head. Most teams seem to have them frequently.

    • Hawkinitup

      Kam Chancellor Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin contract all cost the hawks HUGE, Ed Dickson was a total blunder

  9. Gohawks5151

    “They have an estimated $187m available in 2022”

    Is this typical 2-3 years out for teams? We talked a lot about future planning this off-season. Are they loading up for someone(s)? Russ is due again that year too but he will be 34 which should be concerning. Even the $63m next year makes it possible to make a splash on at least one player, even though the D Line FA’s look weak.

    • Rob Staton

      The $187m in 2022 is actually only the 10th most available.

      But here’s the thing. The other teams ahead of the Seahawks are not paying a QB. They are all teams currently with short term veteran QB solutions (Indy, Tampa Bay) or rookie contract QB’s. So despite paying their QB massive money, the Seahawks are in the same boat as all the other teams with cheap QB’s — because they aren’t paying anyone else other than Bobby Wagner.

      • Ashish

        Don’t get me wrong, Bobby is great player but he is getting $2-3 millions more just because of Jets stupidity. Bobby is one of the best but he is paid more than the baseline.

        In general, hawks take care of good guys so I’m not worried about Tyler. He is one of the best no nonsense and always give 100% and he is freaking good. Hawks will reassign him just ahead of time than other anticipate. Great call Rob!

  10. Vince

    Rob – thanks for this. Agree with your points, but more importantly, I look forward to reading all your posts, especially now. Keep it up!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Vince, really appreciate it

  11. HoosierHawk

    Couldn’t agree more on this point. No diva. Works well with Russ. Makes plays. If this guy isn’t considered a core member of the Seahawks going forward, I don’t know what a core member is. Love me some new Rob Staton articles.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you 👍🏻

  12. Big Mike

    I’m with everyone else, you’re spot on here Rob. Get it done PCJS!

  13. RWIII

    Totally agree. Lockette deserves a pay raise. But he is a humble person. I have seen him on the 700 club. Very humble guy. Tyler is just plain a good person.

  14. Positrac

    What if KC offers Jones for Lockett ?
    I would be sad if Lockett were gone.

    • Rob Staton

      They’re not going to make that offer

  15. Bankhawk

    Wilson to Lockett = PB & J (or Marmite, toast and tea?):things simply meant to go together!
    Love the logic you’ve laid out here Rob and my fingers, too, are crossed for Gordon at #3 WR,

    • Michigan 12th

      Or like Marmite and Tahini butter. Yumm

      • Bankhawk

        Hmmm.. With tahini butter. Exotic! Have to try that.

  16. Troy

    Ya, a Lockett extension (even near top dollar) would really make me happy. Our offense is shit without Lockett, he is terrific both on and off the field, and it’s super easy to root for the guy. If they could do a 3-4 year extension worth an avg of 15 mil a year with let’s say half guaranteed, I would take that all day. He deserves it and most importantly I think he has a good shot of living up to the terms of that contract.

    I would be curious to see how high up Johns “priority board” getting an extension with Lockett done ranks

  17. Hoggs41

    I cant see this happening as he has two years left on his contract and they have set the precedent that they wont touch these. Not disagreeing with your thought process but I’m pretty sure it would never happen.

    • Rob Staton

      They rarely have a player who does EVERYTHING they desire in terms of attitude, professionalism, performance and buy in… who is also wildly underpaid.

  18. Denver Hawker

    Under current management, has a 3rd contract been handed to a WR besides Doug? I wouldn’t argue they’ve had very many worthy receivers to start with, but I think Baldwin’s contract process is the precedent to track for Lockett.

  19. Quinn

    Well said Rob. So many things make this scenario appealing, for all the reasons you’ve highlighted. I remember Pete, in response to a question about what makes a good Seahawk, naming Lockett as the archetype. His selfless attitude, work ethic, determination… I would also think it would be helpful to extend him early with respect to DK’s second contract. Something that looks a little team-friendly by the time DK is up would be instructive for that negotiation.

  20. EranUngar

    I totally agree with your take regarding Lockett’s contract and future with us.

    However, this FO has been very reluctant to change/extend contracts earlier than the last year of that contract (See Kam holding out). I am not sure they will be eager to set a president even if it makes perfect sense in Lockett’s case.

    • Rob Staton

      If it’s sets a good precedent… be like Tyler Lockett… I don’t think it’ll be an issue.

      And they need to create cap space.

      • EranUngar

        Like I said, I like the idea, it serves Lockett and opens cap space but if they did not reward Kam after back to back SBs, I can’t see them do it for Lockett unless it comes as a package deal with a big signing requiring that cap space. (I.E. – perceived as a team beneficial restructuring rather than rewarding a player…)

        Would be great if it happens that way, a win win.

        • Rob Staton

          But why would they have rewarded Kam? He was being paid among the leagues top salaried safeties. And then he held out in camp, which he may have instructed would happen before it did for all we know. The Seahawks were also hard pressed to pay everyone with so many core players needing to be retained.

          That’s a completely different situation to now. Lockett has never been paid among the top WR’s in the league. He’s done everything asked of them and more and I can’t imagine him ever holding out. They have massive amounts of money to spend in the next two years, hardly any core players needing to be paid and they need to create cap space this year.

          The two situations are not remotely comparable.

        • Bayahawk

          I think it’s time to move past the “if they did not reward XXX” from the Super Bowl years argument. Schneider knows he has to adapt or get left behind. Given the cap crunch that might be approaching due to COVID-related economic changes for the NFL, they can’t follow a model that emerged from a different time.

          That said, post however you feel. It just locks us into the same endless debates.

      • Simo

        If they are ever going to set a precedent for extending a player early, this is the right guy and the right situation to do so! He’s highly productive, has Russ’ complete trust, he’s a model citizen, he’s still in his prime, and so much more! Just get this done, the sooner the better!

  21. Volume12

    I’d resign Lockett. I’m biased though. My favorite current player on this roster.

    He should have a huge year. DK will continue to improve. He’s one of those receivers that dictate coverages. Defenses have to cheat w/ a safety over him and that’s not only gonna suck defenders outta the box opening up the run game, but Lockett is gonna eat a ton too.

  22. cha

    Agree with your conclusions Rob. It would be an unusual step but a welcome one for all parties involved.

    One thing that soothes my concerns about extending a player early, is Lockett’s durability. He’s sustained some very concerning injuries and consistently maintained an admirable ability to bounce back quickly.

    That leg injury in late 2016 was scary. Horrific for the fans to witness in real time, and had a “for God’s sake, don’t watch the replay” level of severity to it.

    Let’s just write off 2017 as a recovery year, yes? No. He played all 16 games, and set a new personal best for snaps played.

    Last year he had another scary leg injury, in the Niners MNF thriller. Had to stay behind in SF in the hospital for observation while the team flew home. Well, don’t count on Lockett the rest of the year, yes? Nope. Had a 38 yard bomb the next week vs Philly and shredded Carolina for 120 shortly after.

    For a guy 5’10” 180 or so, he’s remarkably tough. Add that to the other traits we all like, and there’s some security in an early extension.

  23. Sam H

    Absolutely agree. Especially due to DK being on a rookie contract. That paired with a potential Gordon return would give us a really strong recieving squad for very cheap overall. Extend Lockett, then we can put him on a cheaper veteran deal by the time we have to pay DK top dollar assuming he continues to grow and succeed. Terrific point, always great to read your articles Rob!!

  24. BoiseSeahawk

    Yes. He’s lights out, a competitor, and a professional.

    He eased the loss of ADB and was just as much of a steal in the draft as Doug.

    Somehow he doesn’t get respect in the league like many other seahawks can say, and I hope they make an offer that puts him on the front page.

  25. charlietheunicorn

    This is an interesting nugget

    “Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune covers the reasons why the Seahawks could play less 4-3 defense this season.” ~ from Seahawks.com

    He is normally dialed into the Seahawks, so might be worth thinking about when it comes to roster composition.

    • cha

      This doesn’t feel like a really big story to me.

      Hawks ran a ton of base last year, according to the article 69%base/31% nickel. So “less” by definition could be a 65/35 split, which is still tilted heavily towards base, so technically the article has a point. But a big sea change to get closer to the league average of nickel? Not all that likely.

      They’ve invested $25m in Wagner and KJ, a first round pick in Brooks, a third round pick in Barton, and Irvin has said he’s going to spend 2/3 of his snaps at SAM and he’s getting paid $6m this year. Benching a guy for 50% or more of the snaps is sitting on a whole lot of capital.

      Meanwhile, Dunbar’s status is a complete unknown, and Blair and Amadi are the other options at nickel, and both would have to really put their stamp on the role to bench a pretty expensive LB for enough snaps to make this a significant change in the defense in 2020.

      • GoHawksDani

        I think Barton is simply Bobby’s backup now. My feeling is that they’ll like split in base and nickel. Starters will be KJ and Bobby.
        Brooks will rotate with mostly KJ and with Irvin. Bobby will play like 80-90% of snaps (Barton 10-20% depending how good he plays). KJ around 60% (Brooks 40% in WILL), Irvin 30% SAM (60% of total base) 15% LEO/EDGE and Brooks 20% SAM (40% of total base snaps). KJ and Brooks plays roughly the same ratio. Irvin plays less, he’s more of a rusher LB, needs to be kept fresh. I think this seems reasonable…but…this is the Hawks, so they’ll probably sit out Brooks totally and give him a redshirt year just for fun. They don’t really rush their rookies onto the field. But I’m concerned about nickel CB and general CB depth

        • charlietheunicorn

          There was talk about how they might rotate guys through the various positions and down and distances. KJ might match-up with a big TE better than another LB on the roster. Or if they are trying to generate from pressure from the “EDGE” hybrid position…. the rookie might get his shots the first year.

          Obviously, I think they will cut down some snaps on KJ to try to keep him fresh and get other guys some quality reps. The guys who are DE/LB or LB/S are going to be fun to watch. More flexibility on the team making it less predicable what they might try to do.

          Hopefully they can play more man to man, giving the DL / pass rushers a couple more beats to get sacks.

    • Rob Staton

      Is Gregg Bell dialled into the Seahawks? I’m not saying he isn’t very capable at reporting events as they happen but I’ve not got the impression that he’s ever reported any insider info as to their plans.

      And it’d be a peculiar tactic… investing so much in the LB position… to then only play two most of the time, a year removed from playing three.

  26. Jordan

    Def agree with this one Rob. Lockett too has the off field persona-leadership that the team likes. Definitely a good role model for other players on the roster.

  27. GoHawksDani

    I love Lockett. He looks like a standup comedian or the class clown character in a high school comedy movie lol. And he’s smart, writes slam poetry. I can read people pretty well and he just seems like a nice, good guy. So as far as people not players on the current roster he’s way above anybody imo. And as a player, he’s resourceful, though, can withstand blows, can recover from injuries, has soft hands, good body control. Only knock on him is that’s he’s small and not lightning quick (like 4.28-4.35) so while he can create separation he won’t be totally free as often as a super fast dude. But he has speed too and solid route running. My only concern is that he sometimes tends to just disappear in games. Not sure if Russ doesn’t find him enough or get blanketed, but sometimes I just miss a good 17 yards Wilson to Lockett pass


    I love the idea. Just we need to let Russ work his magic more often. Imagine how productive the passing game could be if the Hawks mixed things up a little more and threw more on first down. As for a third, don’t forget that DeeJay Dallas was a wide receiver before he became a running back.

    But absolutely, Lockett should be part of the long term core of the team.

    • Rob Staton

      Throwing more on first down is not the cure all everyone thinks it is.

      The key to Seattle being better is not being awful on defense.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Without getting into the what they should do on offense scenario, lets at least admit that the Seahawks have room for improvement on the offense in the first three quarters of games. Visually the offense usually looks pretty bad in the first half. Statistically based on yardage gained, they are 14th-16th rated in the league. In the fourth quarter they are rated 6th best.

      Why the difference? Do they need to play from behind? Maybe they should play like they are behind starting in quarter one? Personally I think it is play calling. And yes, it would be great if the defense improved also.

      • cha

        I understand and have shared your sentiments about the offense starting better for years.

        But at this point, I think the die is cast. PC’s establish-the-run style dictates there’s going to be games where they just can’t get out of the gate very quickly on offense. They insist on getting the run game involved and testing their jab to see what the opposing defense is up to. If anything, their ability to close like a freight train further validates the strategy, that they can ease their way into the game and let the game come to them.

        This is where, as Rob pointed out, the defense can really help. A turnover deep in enemy territory, or a couple early 3 and outs could really inject the offense with some energy. Taking the field and having to go 75 yards every drive is so much more difficult than having the occasional drive start at the opponents’ 30 or 40 yard line.

        That said, I think it needs to be mentioned, RW is part of the problem when it comes to slow starts. He seems at his best when scrambling, making plays and taking what the D gives him. He’s unparalleled in that area. If there’s one area for him to improve in 2020, I’d like to see him come out of the gate sharp. He’s shown he can do it, but if we’re going to be resigned to the offense calling runs on 1st and 2nd down early, then relying on RW to make a play on 3rd downs, just a half measure of better focus could really get this offense humming more smoothly early on in the game.

        I think loading up on professional 3rd down converters like Olsen, Dissly and Hollister could really help in this area.

        • AlaskaHawk

          The trouble I see with the conservative approach is that if your offense doesn’t get first downs in the first half, your defense is worn out by the second half. How many games have we watched the defense sputter late?

          • cha

            That’s what I’m saying. I don’t think the approach is going to suddenly change 10 years into the PC era.

            Defense is tired? Poor baby boo-boos. Stop the opposing offense and you’ll have all the time to rest you like.

            It’s a circular concept. Like it’s been said, all 3 units are connected and feed off each other. Could the offense do better to give the defense more rest? Sure. But it’s not the offense’s fault the defense can’t get off the field.

            Which is why the neglect of the DL is head scratching.

        • pdway

          I think that’s a really smart analysis of how the Hawks think about their offense. They do kind of test the jab – it’s a good way to put it. And when it works, even a little bit, it really helps the offense as the game goes on.

      • MyChestisBeastMode

        Ya, it’s pretty clear they play a more conservative “wear you down” offense for the first half-to-3 quarters of the game before opening up the playbook and letting loose in the 4th quarter. In an ideal game scenario, I believe they try to play with the intent of safe ball control which leads to keeping the game close and trying to win the turnover battle. Then they put their foot on the gas and take over — ideally. The problem last year was we were not consistently winning turnover battles and were rarely in position to put teams away and then needed to claw back into the game or cling to a narrow lead.

        Run run pass is great if you can get a few first downs and tilt the field. It’s not so great when we have a multitude of 3-and-outs. I love that we take shots when passing, but I’d also definitely be in agreement for some earlier down short, quick passing routes to keep the sticks moving. I believe Russ is more than capable of carrying that load (as long as he has a lane to see the receiver).

  29. Big Mike

    This has nothing to do with the Seahawks in particular or sports in general but I have to say it:

    Happy 78th birthday Sir Paul McCartney!

    • Rob Staton

      He looks well for 78

  30. MyChestisBeastMode

    If this were a debate, there would be no rebuttal to this perfect dissertation.

    Lock down Lockett for as long as we can. He’s a Seahawk through-and-through and should definitely be part of the core group going forward.

  31. cha

    Where is everyone on having Lockett return punts?

    I can see both sides. You want to protect your #1 WR and your investment. As well it’s a spot you can get some other guys downroster some work and allow them a chance to inject some life into the team.

    Personally I think Lockett should still return punts in 2020. He has fought through some injury issues so he has a fresh start in 2020 and can make a huge impact and tilt the field. He has an ability to really electrify the team with a great return. I think he’s shown he’s durable enough to take the big hit and pop right back up.

    If the coverage team gives him better blocking and lanes, I think he could occasionally take a punt to the house for some easy points in 2020. And that’s not something we can say of the other returners currently on the roster.

    • Gohawks5151

      It’s confusing. They keep drafting these guys that have “return experience” and never pan out. Moore, Penny, Homer. Now Dallas and Swain. See if any of them pan out. Just go get Brian Walters back.

      • TomLPDX

        Ha, Ha…that was funny!

  32. Nano

    Fantastic piece, Rob; just like the Carson piece. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

  33. UkAlex6674

    Anyone heard from Coleslaw lately? He usually is a very frequent poster. Hope he is ok??

    • Rob Staton

      This was his last message, just under a month ago…

      Oh FFS Rob. Quit with the whining and pessimism. It’s a bad look brother. You haven’t been able to say anything nice about the Hawks in months, all you’re doing is spewing negativity. No wonder people are leaving the site…

      He hasn’t posted since.

      • Volume12

        I always liked Coleslaw. That’s too bad he felt that way.

        • Rob Staton

          It pissed me off to be honest.

          Quite an entitled position to take — ‘write what I want, even though it’s a free blog done in your spare time’.

          And the comment at the end, aside from being bollocks, was an unnecessary dig.

          • UkAlex6674

            Ah. Yes it does seem a bit much.

        • TomLPDX

          I do to. Let’s hope he reconsiders and rejoins the blog crew.

          Hey Cole, I always appreciated what you add to this blog. We move on, as the Seahawks move on.

          • Rob Staton

            I’m not willing to move on unless he apologises.

            • TomLPDX

              I hear and understand that, Rob. But I’ve been here long enough to recognize Cole is one of the good guys. Let’s hope he can reenter gracefully, which will at least include a (private) apology for that last comment.

              • Rob Staton

                It’s not the first time actually.

  34. Bayahawk

    I’m sure someone else posted so apologies if so but Josh Gordon officially filed for reinstatement today.

  35. James C

    Deebo Samuel suffered a broken foot (Jones fracture). That is a nasty injury.

  36. TomLPDX

    Well, Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement (again). Let’s hope Roger gives him one last, third to last chance to get his stuff together.

    And the news about Deebo breaking his foot is not good for SF. I never like to hear of any player get injured and hope Deebo is able to come back to his old form at the end of last season.

    • Rob Staton

      New article posted on Josh Gordon just a few moments ago.

  37. Volume12

    Ole Miss EDGE Sam Williams (6’2-6’3, 250-255 lbs.) might be the most intriguing pass rusher I’ve seen so far. Want to see him w/ his hand in the dirt some more and play w more fluidity (could be nerves) but he’s loooong, can cover, defends the run well. Bull in a China shop.

    Went the JUCO route so this will only be his 2nd year. Backstory is crazy. For example, watched his friend get run over & killed by a car during a shooting as a kid.

    Ole Miss Sam Williams:

  38. God of Thunder

    I *want* to agree with the pay-the-man $ sentiment, but I’m a bit leery of the concept.

    I know you need to keep your best players happy, but it sets a precedent too. A contract is a contract. What are you saying to all the other players who don’t get bumped up before the expiration of their deals?

    I guess I’m asking: I see the upside, but what might the downsides be?

    Keep in mind I’m just a bloke sitting in my chair with an espresso ATM, not a labour lawyer or agent.

  39. Brashmouse

    I respectfully disagree Rob. I think that next year would be the first opportunity to stay within the “hawks rules” for extensions and looking to pay him market value for a top 5 receiver or close for his year 30 and year 31 points in the league is tantamount to buying high just to reward his previous effort. He is cusp top 5 receiver and we have a great bargain that happened because he wasn’t when he signed the contract. The reason he is at that level is both his extreme agility, body control, and willingness to sacrifice for the catch like Baldwin. This makes a great receiver but not one with a 20 year career. The odds of something reducing his market value back to what he is making before year 2022 is, in my opinion, significantly higher than than sustained top 5 level without injury for 2 more years.

    • cha

      It’s an extraordinary step to be sure, but as Rob pointed out there are several good reasons to do it, from rewarding a model player to ensuring continuity of the offense to creating some 2020 cap room.

      The numbers Rob floated puts him at the fringe of the top 10 WRs in terms of yearly average in 2020. By the time this deal is up in 2023, that average would probably have dropped down to the top 15 or 20, and, if the 2020 WR draft class produces as we think it might, there’ll be several deals coming in 2024 that will push it even further down.

      If the Hawks are smart with their structuring (as they typically are), they’ll have a decision to make in 2022 or 2023. With an extension now, it wouldn’t be financially devastating to cut Lockett at that point if his production has plummeted or he’s become too injured to sustain his performance.

      Another reason this makes sense: They have Metcalf who (if he keeps improving) is probably ready to sign a massive extension and take over the #1 WR spot right around the same time. Whereas if they wait to extend Lockett, they pay more money later, and might have to make sacrifices in other areas to pay DK because Lockett’s extension makes him hard to move.

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