The Seahawks have one big decision to make at receiver as they enter the offseason: whether to re-sign free agent Paul Richardson.

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In terms of their on-field presence, few Seahawks position groups were as dependable in 2017 as the team’s receiving corps.

The two starters in the base offense — Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson — played every game, each on the field for more than 76 percent of the snaps for the season.

Third receiver Tyler Lockett also played every game, on the field for 64 percent of the snaps, with three-receiver sets becoming an even bigger part of the team’s offense in 2017 — Seattle passed on 59.38 percent of plays in 2017, highest of the Russell Wilson era.

Ultimately, Baldwin got his second straight Pro Bowl invite — becoming the only Seattle receiver other than Steve Largent to play in the game more than once — while Richardson had the best season of his career just in time to hit unrestricted free agency.

Seahawks' position preview:

Here’s a quick look back and ahead at the receiver position.


Doug Baldwin

Snaps played: 853 (of 1,067), 79.94 percent (via Pro Football Reference).

Stats: 75-991, 13.2 yards per reception average, 8 TDs.

Contract situation: Signed through 2020.

Tyler Lockett

Snaps played: 691, 64.79 percent.

Stats: 45-555, 12.3, 2 TDs.

Contract situation: Signed through 2018.

Paul Richardson

Snaps played: 817, 76.57 percent.

Stats: 44-703, 16.0, 6 TDs.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

Amara Darboh

Snaps played: 191, 17.9 percent.

Stats: 8-79, 8.9, 0.

Contract situation: Signed through 2020.

Tanner McEvoy

Snaps played: 213, 19.96 percent.

Stats: 5-113, 22.6, 0.

Contract situation: Signed through 2018.

David Moore

Snaps played: 9, 0.84

Stats: None.

Contract situation: Signed through 2020.


The year began with the Seahawks trading one of the core members of their receiving corps since 2013 — Jermaine Kearse — in a deal that netted Seattle defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

But if few would quibble with the trade even now, it’s worth wondering if the Seahawks didn’t miss Kearse a little more than they expected.

Baldwin was again one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL with just two drops in 116 targets.

And Richardson finally showed what he could do when healthy — his yards per reception average of 16 was the highest for any Seahawk (of those among the team’s top five receivers in a season) since 2010.

But Richardson was also prone to inconsistency as was the rest of the receiving corps — Lockett was held to 25 yards or less receiving in seven of the last nine games.

And neither Darboh nor McEvoy really emerged quite the way it might have been hoped — McEvoy had one drop and a lost fumble in nine targets.

And while Seattle got amble contributions from its tight ends in receiver roles, the Seahawks often seemed to be in need of one more playmaker on the perimeter to open things up that much more.

GRADE: B-minus.


Seattle’s biggest question at this position heading into the offseason is Richardson’s future.

If Richardson really wants $7 million a year — as some have suggested — that might be too much for the Seahawks (John Clayton of ESPN 710 Seattle has reported Seattle won’t want to go above $5.5 million for Richardson).

If Richardson gets away the Seahawks will have to fill that void somehow. Seattle made a telling move late in the season to promote Moore – a seventh-round pick in 2017 — to the 53-man roster so as not to lose him to another team, indicating both hope for Moore and that the Seahawks know they need some depth going forward.

How aggressively Seattle pursues Richardson could also indicate what it envisions for Lockett’s future when he becomes a free agent in 2018 – conventional wisdom has been that the Seahawks are likely to only re-sign one of the two.

Regardless, expect some additions to the receiving corps as Seattle could look specifically to add a big receiver or two, especially if Graham departs, as is generally expected.


What Seattle does or doesn’t do with Richardson will heavily dictate what else it will do in free agency.

But even if Richardson leaves Seattle is likely to look more for middle-tier free agents if it decides to go that route.

But other than the receiver at the top of the list — Miami’s Jarvis Landry — almost all of those available come with some sort of injury or production question mark.

One big receiver option who wouldn’t figure to cost much? Dallas’ Brice Butler, 6-3, 215-pounder who played at USC under Pete Carroll in 2008 and 2009.

If Seattle loses Richardson and wants to find a speed-receiver replacement, one possibility is Atlanta’s Taylor Gabriel, who had something of a down year in 2017 but averaged 16.5 yards per catch in 2016.


This isn’t being regarded as the strongest or deepest years for receivers in the draft and free agency will go a long way toward indicating how much of a need this will be for Seattle when the draft rolls around.

But here’s one intriguing player potentially available in the second day – Washington’s Dante Pettis. With Lockett having just one year left on his contract and depending on what happens with Richardson, a receiver who also will be one of the best returners available could be appealing.