In what Doug Baldwin termed a “letter to my younger self,” the now-former Seahawks receiver took to Twitter on Sunday night to unveil a 20-tweet thread that served as both a retrospective on his football career and an apparent official retirement notice.
Baldwin ended the thread with a scene from one of his favorite shows, “Game of Thrones,” with the caption, “My watch has ended.” The latest episode of GOT had just aired.
That tweet was reminiscent of another iconic Seahawk and also one of Baldwin’s close friends, Marshawn Lynch, who announced the end of his Seahawks career during Super Bowl 50 with a tweet featuring a pair of cleats hanging over a power line.
Baldwin’s Seattle career ended last Thursday after eight seasons when his contract was terminated, along with that of safety Kam Chancellor.
Baldwin, who has had offseason surgeries on his shoulder and knee as well a sports hernia procedure, had been said to be considering retiring for several months due to his lingering health issues that followed a season in which he missed three games — the first he had missed since the 2012 season. After a late-season victory over Kansas City, Baldwin said battling the injuries had made the 2018 season “hell.”
He had not said anything publicly since the move Thursday by the Seahawks until his tweets Sunday night, which began: “I’ve always wanted to write a letter to my younger self. I never knew how or when I would write it but it seems very appropriate right about now.”
Baldwin, 30, went on to detail every step of his football career, writing in one: “High school will be hard. College will be harder. It is God’s way of preparing you for what is to come. You’ll want to quit football during your junior year. Mom, of course, won’t let you. Make sure you thank her for that later.”
He wrote that his first season with the Seahawks “will fly by” and that “You’ll finally get a chance to compete at the highest level of the sport you love. And knowing you, I bet you’ll leave your mark early. During that time you will lose yourself in that world. It’s ok. You’ll come out of it for the better.”
He later tweets about close friends made during his Seattle years, including pictures featuring Richard Sherman, Chancellor, Tarvaris Jackson, Ricardo Lockette, Earl Thomas and the receiving group of last year, and saves two particularly poignant tweets for Jermaine Kearse and former offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (but he made no mention of Russell Wilson or Pete Carroll).
Tweeted with a picture of Kearse, to whom Baldwin was particularly close, Baldwin wrote: “You owe a lot to these people. They will stick by your side when your passion turns into anger. When your drive turns into obsession. They will be the poised warriors that you will need by your side.”
And accompanying a picture of Bevell, whom Baldwin consistently defended despite the criticism he endured following the ill-fated final pass in Super Bowl XLIX, he wrote: “And don’t forget the coaches. There will be good ones and there will be better ones. You will come to appreciate the great ones, even if others don’t.”
In his second-to-last tweet, Baldwin wrote: “Because the end of one journey sees the beginning of another. And guess what … it will be one hell of a journey. You will feel emotional and physical pain you never knew existed. You will fail over and over again. But don’t worry, all of it will be the reason why you succeed.”
Baldwin ended his Seattle career second in receiving touchdowns with 49 and third in receptions (493) and receiving yards (6,563) trailing only Steve Largent in touchdowns, and only Largent and Brian Blades in the two other categories.