Man, that’s a lot of cash thrown at their passing game.
That’s been a common reaction to the Seahawks this week giving Doug Baldwin a four-year contract believed to be worth an average of $11.5 million per season. Seattle now has $187.6 million in total contract value among the four primary members of its passing offense: quarterback Russell Wilson ($87.6 million), Baldwin, tight end Jimmy Graham ($40 million) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse ($13.5 million).
Yes, that’s a ton of cash for the pass on a team that vows to remain based on the run. So this must mean Seattle is going to suddenly transform into the new Air Coryell San Diego Chargers, right?
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The deal for Baldwin, plus the ones to Wilson and Kearse over the last 11 months (Seattle inherited half of Graham’s contract in last year’s trade with New Orleans), are about a larger, longer-term message. It’s about the Seahawks rewarding and reinforcing their example-setting core.
It shows the rest of the players that if you do what three of the guys who have exemplified how general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll want their players to train, practice and prepare, you can get rewarded here, too.
The Seahawks didn’t pay Baldwin with his new contract this week as much as they rewarded him. And it’s for the traits you don’t see, far beyond the fact he set the franchise record for touchdown catches last year.
“Reward” is the word Schneider used in the team’s official acknowledgment of its top wide receiver getting a four-year extension through the 2020 season. It’s believed to include a remarkable $24.25 million guaranteed. That makes the Seahawks’ 2011 undrafted free agent from Stanford the NFL’s seventh-highest-paid wide receiver.
“On behalf of Mr. Allen, Coach Carroll and the entire Seahawks family, we are pleased to reward a player of Doug’s caliber and extend him through the 2020 season,” Schneider said in a team statement Wednesday. “We identified Doug as a key player in our 2017 unrestricted class and as we continue to push to be a consistent championship caliber team, we are committed to keeping as many of our core players together as long as we possibly can.”
Baldwin is in many ways the Seahawks’ pulse and soul. He’s the flame when they need more fire. He’s come from being a rookie free agent just trying to make the team and doing all asked of him by Carroll — and more, playing on special teams and anywhere else. He’s carried the chip in his shoulder from college to present day.
He’s the man who ripped into his teammates on offense last season, after Seattle began 2-4 following consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Everyone around him was assuring everything would be all right. Baldwin was the one who said pointedly inside the locker room that everything wasn’t OK — and wouldn’t be until each member of the offense began doing his job more professionally. Then he went out and had 11 touchdown catches in five games during the Seahawks’ late-season run back into the playoffs.
Schneider and Carroll have learned in the three years since they signed Percy Harvin for six seasons and $67 million he never realized. Harvin’s disastrous Seahawks tenure ended with the uber-talented wide receiver sent away a year and a half later, a locker-room outcast. The Seahawks rewarded elite physical skill and on-field impact then.
With Baldwin, as much or more than on-field production, they are rewarding dedication, preparation and motivation now.
BOYKIN PLEADS NO CONTEST TO RESISTING ARREST
Trevone Boykin avoided possible jail time on Thursday when a Texas judge accepted the Seahawks’ backup quarterback pleading no contest to a charge of resisting arrest. The charge stems from a New Year’s Eve bar fight the former Texas Christian quarterback got into days before TCU’s Alamo Bowl game.
The Bexar County court clerk’s online database showed Friday Boykin’s no-contest plea to the resisting-arrest charge got “deferred adjudication.” Boykin, 22, had been facing a charge of assault and was facing an arraignment date in Texas of Aug. 1, two days after the Seahawks will begin training camp in Renton.
Boykin was placed on probation for one year. He has requirements for community service and an anger-management course; the Texas judge ruled Boykin can complete both in Seattle. Boykin also was fined $1,500, plus $237 in court costs.
Boykin finished fourth in voting for college football’s Heisman Trophy following his 2014 season at TCU. He signed with Seattle in May as an undrafted free agent, after his draft stock plummeted following his incident and resulting legal trouble.
He is currently the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. He’s in line to be Russell Wilson’s primary backup, unless Seattle chooses to sign a veteran quarterback before the season opener Sept. 11 against Miami.