Seattle has a lot invested in its receiving corps for 2019 which might mean looking to the draft, or some bargain free agents, to add depth and competition.

Share story

Yes, the Seahawks do have receivers.

In fact, those who question the team’s run-pass ratio and if it makes sense in today’s NFL might be surprised that as of this week, Seattle actually has one of the most expensive receiving corps in the league.

According to, the $26 million plus that Seattle has devoted to its receivers in 2019 is the seventh-most in the NFL (due mostly to Doug Baldwin’s $13.1 million cap number and Tyler Lockett’s $10.2 million number). That’s more than half of what it has devoted to its entire defense, which at the moment is just over $50 million, and currently 30th.


Those rankings figure to fluctuate greatly over the next few months as teams cut players and sign others and then acquire more in the draft in April.

Will Seattle make some moves at its receiver position over the next few months?

Let’s review the position and take a look ahead.


The Seahawks did indeed have a lot fewer balls to go around in 2018 than in 2017 with its return to the run taking prominence on offense — after attempting 555 passes in going 9-7 in 2017 the Seahawks threw 427 in 2018, the least in the NFL (Pittsburgh led the league with a whopping 689). That was one of the lower totals in team history, though higher than both the 2012 (405) and 2013 teams (420), the template that coach Pete Carroll wanted to replicate.

But when Seattle threw it, it threw it well — the Seahawks passing efficiency rating of 110.9 was third-best in the league, and the yards per attempt of 8.1 was sixth (that the yards per attempt was a yard higher than 2017 was also a stat Carroll credited for the team’s offensive turnaround).

A breakout season from fourth-year vet Lockett was the key — Russell Wilson had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when targeting Lockett, who caught 57 passes for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns. That helped make up for Baldwin’s season-long struggles with injuries — his 50 catches were his fewest since 2013 but he showed he still had it when healthy when he sparked a late-season win against Kansas City with seven catches for 126 yards.

But Seattle struggled to get consistent production elsewhere. Second-year player David Moore flashed at times but had just four catches for 30 yards in the last six games (including the playoffs) and free agent signee Jaron Brown had just 14 catches for the season.

And it’s almost hard to remember now that the Seahawks held out the idea heading into the season that Brandon Marshall might emerge as the third receiver. Instead, the veteran was released after making just 11 catches. No other receiver on the roster (meaning, not running backs or tight ends) had more than two catches.


Tyler Lockett

Key stat: Want more proof of Lockett’s big-play ability? Including returns, Lockett has averaged 40.9 yards per touchdown since 2014, fourth-highest in the NFL.

Contract status: Lockett’s contract runs through the 2021 season. He is due to make $3.907 million in base salary in 2019.

Doug Baldwin

Key stat: Baldwin enters 2019 third in team history in receptions (493) and yards (6,563) behind leader Steve Largent and Brian Blades. He probably needs two years to pass Blades (who had 581 for 7,62) in each category. Largent appears, well, uncatchable with 819 receptions for 13,089 yards.

Contract status: Baldwin has two years remaining on a four-year, $46 million deal signed in 2016. Baldwin has a base salary of $9.25 million in 2019.

David Moore

Key stat: Moore had 15 targets in the final six games but just the four receptions.

Contract status: Is now an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he will return in 2019 as long as Seahawks give him a qualifying offer, which seems likely.


Jaron Brown

Key stat: While the Seahawks likely hoped for more from Brown than 14 receptions, his five touchdowns were tied for second-most on the team.

Contract status: Has one year remaining on the two-year contract he signed last spring, with a base salary of $2.75 million in 2019. Seahawks could save $2.75 million against the cap if he is released with a dead money hit of $975,000.

Malik Turner

Key stat: Turner had two catches for 20 yards while active in six games.

Contract status: Is now an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he will return in 2019 as long as Seahawks give him a qualifying offer, which seems likely.


Keenan Reynolds

Key stat: Reynolds played in two games without making a catch.

Contract status: Signed to a futures contract in January, meaning he will officially become part of roster when the new league year begins in March.

Caleb Scott

Key stat: Spent the season on the practice squad.

Contract status: Was signed to a futures contract in January.

Amara Darboh

Key stat: Spent the season on injured reserve after being returned to Seattle following a failed physical with New England, which had initially claimed him when the Seahawks waived him in the cut down to 53.

Contract status: Has two years remaining on his rookie contract with a base salary of $668,000 in 2019.


Simply because it’s how things work in the NFL, some had wondered as Baldwin dealt with injuries last years if the Seahawks might look to get out of the last two years of his contract as he enters his age 31 season— the team could save $10 million against the cap if he were a post-June 1 cut. But Carroll said in his end-of-season news conference he anticipated Baldwin being back.

So the Seahawks appear to again have a Baldwin-Lockett 1-2 punch.

But while Seattle remains high on Moore and has Brown locked up for another year, the Seahawks could use another consistent threat, especially a big receiver. Darboh will get a chance to prove he can still be that guy, but the Seahawks will probably want to assure they have another on the roster, as well.


So, the top free agent receiver on most lists heading into free agency is none other than Golden Tate. That’s not going to happen (salary reasons alone being enough). But could Seattle look to a reunion with Jermaine Kearse? He might come pretty cheap and could be due for a bounce-back season after struggling with some injuries and making just 37 catches in his second season with the Jets. But finding a big receiver in free agency isn’t going to be easy — consider that estimates the value of Devin Funchess, who caught just 44 passes last year for the Panthers, at $8.9 million.


The good news for the Seahawks is that this might be a good year to find a big receiver in the draft.

Bucky Brooks of wrote this week that the draft “is loaded with big-bodied pass catchers who possess spectacular ball skills.’’

Seattle might be able to trade down from 21 and acquire some extra picks and still maybe land someone like Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry, a 6-2, 225-pounder who will be one of the more intriguing players to watch at the Combine later this month — a better-than-expected 40 time might sneak him into the first round.

NEXT: Tight end.