RENTON — Russell Wilson was asked to ponder Doug Baldwin’s future Tuesday after the Seahawks’ first organized team activity (OTA) open to the media in 2019.
“You know,” Wilson said, “I don’t want to limit the guy. So that’s hard for me to say.”
The Seahawks quarterback had much more to say about his successful past with Baldwin, one of the most productive wide receivers in franchise history who announced his apparent retirement earlier this month.
“Definitely going to miss him and his leadership,” Wilson said in his first public comments since Baldwin’s departure. “He’s one of a kind. Hopefully the next guy can step up, but it’s hard to follow his role and everything else. But he showed a lot of guys the way, and that’s a great thing for us.”
Baldwin finished his Seahawks career with 6,563 yards receiving and 49 touchdown receptions.
“Doug has arguably been one of the best receivers in the National Football League for the past however many years since he came into the league. I’m glad he was on my team and that I got to throw to him every day,” Wilson said. “The thing about Doug is, he was always open. He knew how to create separation. He had this fire you didn’t see in anybody else in a way, in terms of his passion, his love of the game, his love for competing, his love for making plays. When the game’s on the line, he’s going to make a play. …
“He would practice and play hurt when other guys would be sitting out. He knew the game, he studied the game. Nobody worked harder than he did. And he was also a great coach on the field. He really coached the other players, the other wideouts, and also me too. When you think about who he is and what he meant to this organization, what he’s meant to undrafted free agents as well, the level he played at, the execution he played at, the big-time plays — there’s nobody like Doug Baldwin. He’s going to be remembered forever here and across the National Football League.”
What does the future now hold for the Seahawks wide receiver position?
The Seahawks listed 12 receivers on their roster Tuesday for the second OTA workout (the first, Monday, was closed to the media), including the three receivers added in the draft last month: DK Metcalf (second round), Gary Jennings (fourth round) and John Ursua (seventh round).
Metcalf and Ursua worked out Tuesday. Jennings remains sidelined with what Pete Carroll said earlier this month was a minor hamstring injury.
Wilson said he’s optimistic about the competition out wide.
“Obviously, we’re losing an All-Pro-, Pro-Bowl-type player in Doug Baldwin … but Tyler Lockett had a phenomenal year last year. It’s his time to step up again,” Wilson said. “He’s going to have to play a major, major role this year — which, he’s one of the best receivers in the league with the things he can do to separate.”
Metcalf, a 6-foot-4, 229-pound rookie out of Mississippi, gives Wilson a true deep threat out wide.
“He’s a freak of nature,” Wilson said. “He’s a guy who can run as fast as can be. He can go up and get it. He can run all the routes and stuff like that. It’ll be exciting to see his work ethic and his evolution and everything else.”