The 2019 season marked a year of transition for the Seahawks receiving corps, which didn’t have Doug Baldwin for the first time since 2010.
But forming a new duo of starting receivers in the base offense may have gone better than expected, with Tyler Lockett turning in one of the most productive seasons in team history and DK Metcalf one of the best rookie seasons in team history.
Filling out the rest of the receiving corps proved to be a challenge that looks like a priority as the Seahawks enter the offseason.
As we continue our review of the Seahawks’ position groups, let’s look at the receivers.
Snaps played in regular season: 994 (of 1,107 total).
Contract situation: Two years remaining on his contract. Due to make $8.6 million with an $11.35 million cap hit.
2019 number to know: His 82 receptions were the fourth most in a single season in team history.
Snaps played in regular season: 927.
Contract situation: Entering second season of four-year rookie deal and is due to make $703,457 in 2020.
2019 number to know: Metcalf’s 58 receptions were tied for second among NFL rookies and his 900 yards were third.
Snaps played: 312.
Contract situation: Restricted free agent
2019 number to know: His 60-yard TD against the Vikings was the Seahawks’ longest pass play of the season.
Snaps played: 373.
Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.
2019 number to know: Caught only two passes for 15 yards after Oct. 20.
Snaps played: 242.
Contract situation: Exclusive rights free agent.
2019 number to know: Essentially ended the season as the team’s third receiver, getting 51% and 44% of the snaps in the final two games he played.
Others on the roster in 2019: Josh Gordon (an unrestricted free agent who is suspended indefinitely); John Ursua (sixth-round pick played 18 snaps, including the postseason).
Knowing Baldwin was retiring, the Seahawks drafted three receivers in 2019, hitting spectacularly on one (Metcalf, taken in the second round), whiffing on one (fourth-rounder Gary Jennings, who was waived at midseason and is now with Miami) and getting some promising early returns on another (Ursua, who made what could have been the biggest catch of the season for Seattle in limited playing time if he’d gotten just another foot or so in the regular-season finale against the 49ers).
They got what they hoped for out of Lockett, who answered any last question about whether he can truly be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
But the rest was a jumble.
The Seahawks hoped Moore and Brown would take big leaps in 2019 and provide legitimate options aside from Lockett and Metcalf (which became even more important when tight end Will Dissly went down with an Achilles injury in the sixth game of the season).
But Moore suffered a shoulder injury in camp and never seemed to find his stride. That had Brown starting the year as the No. 3 receiver. But he couldn’t hang on to that role. He was declared a healthy inactive for two games at midseason and catching just two passes in the final nine games he played.
That led to the gamble to claim Gordon, who turned in a few big moments but was again suspended for substance-abuse policy violations after just five games.
That had Turner serving as the third receiver at the end of the season. But he suffered a concussion and missed two games, including the playoff win at Philadelphia. That’s worth remembering when recalling a lasting memory of his season — the drop on the final offensive series against Green Bay.
All of this makes solidifying the back end of the receiving corps one of the higher items on the Seahawks’ to-do list this offseason.
As noted above, Lockett and Metcalf are in the fold for at least two more years (and the team can’t offer Metcalf an extension until after his third year in 2021).
Moore and Turner will also likely be back, as will Ursua (and the Seahawks also appear to like Penny Hart, a 5 foot 8, 180 pounder who spent time on the practice squad last season as a rookie and has been signed to a futures contract).
The Seahawks figure to move on from Brown and likely explore the free-agent market for a veteran to serve as another reliable target.
There are a few big names, though as Pro Football Weekly put it when assessing the receiver free agents, there are “none without red flags.’’
If Seattle really wanted to try to give Russell Wilson another potential “superstar’’ playmaker, it could swing for the likes of A J. Green, a seven-time Pro Bowler who appears as if he may hit the market. But he’s 32 and, due to injuries, has played just 35 games over the last four years.
The Seahawks are more likely to go for a midlevel veteran. Would Randall Cobb, who is 29 and caught 55 passes for Dallas last year, cost too much? Maybe, as OvertheCap.com estimated he’s worth $6.65 million.
Or maybe they’ll take a chance and see if a new home might do the trick for someone like Nelson Agholor or Tavon Austin.
Despite using three picks on receivers last year, the Seahawks could use one again this year to take advantage of what some draft analysts are calling an exceptionally good receiver class. The Seahawks have taken at least one receiver in all but two previous drafts in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era.
One way or another, expect the Seahawks to make some changes to the back end of its receiving corps this offseason.
Up next: Offensive line.