Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said during an appearance on the NFL Network Thursday that talks with the team on a new contract could begin "shortly.''
It’s widely expected that Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin will get a contract extension sometime before the beginning of the 2016 season, which is the last on his current three-year deal.
And during an appearance on NFL Total Access on the NFL Network Thursday, Baldwin indicated that discussions may begin soon.
“Not yet,’’ Baldwin said when asked if contract talks have begun. “We’re going to be talking here shortly, at least that’s what I’ve been told. We’ll see how it goes. Of course, I’m not worried about it. I’m here working out with my teammates trying to get better for this upcoming season.’’
No one doubts that Baldwin is worth considerably more than he is getting on his current deal, which he signed in the spring of 2014 and has a total value of $13 million.
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Baldwin appeared on the NFL Network to talk primarily about having been ranked No. 72 on the network’s list of the Top 100 Players of 2016. The list is voted on by other NFL players and Baldwin made it for the first time in his career based in part on having caught 14 touchdown passes last season, which tied for the most in the NFL and set a Seattle single-season record.
Baldwin is the headliner in what is a relatively small crop of Seahawks who can be unrestricted free agents following the 2016 season. Other key players who could get extensions before next spring include tight end Luke Willson and kicker Steven Hauschka.
It’s expected that Baldwin would be first in line to get an extension and that a new deal for the receiver would likely come by training camp, or in the early stages of it, as was the case last year when quarterback Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner each got extensions in the first days of camp.
The Wilson contract talks hung over the Seahawks throughout last spring and summer before the QB came to an agreement the night before camp began.
But this off-season figures to be quieter with indications — including Baldwin’s words Thursday night — that work will soon begin on a new deal for the receiver.
Baldwin also talked about how the Seahawks will replace retired running back Marshawn Lynch and said “the idea of being able to fulfill that role, that void that Marshawn is leaving is going to be tough. Everything that he’s done for us, not only on the field but also being our main stable leader in the locker room, we’re going to miss him. It’s going to be hard to go along without him.’’
It was Baldwin, though, who helped the Seahawks overcome the loss of Lynch due to injury late last season when he scored 11 touchdowns in the final six games as Seattle finished 5-1 (and actually, 6-1 in the last seven) to secure another double-digit win season and a playoff berth.
It sounds like Baldwin’s reward may be coming sooner rather than later.