The Seahawks have reached agreement on a four-year contract extension with receiver Doug Baldwin that will pay him $11.5 million per season, with $24.25 million guaranteed, and keep him in Seattle through 2020.
The Seahawks on Tuesday completed one of their primary offseason objectives — agreeing to a contract extension with receiver Doug Baldwin.
The sides agreed to a four-year deal that will keep Baldwin in Seattle through 2020 and makes a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2011 among the NFL’s highest-paid receivers.
Baldwin, 27, will receive $46 million over four years with $24.25 million guaranteed on a new contract that will take him through the 2020 season, a source confirmed. At $11.5 million per season Baldwin is the seventh-highest-paid receiver in the league, according to OvertheCap.com.
That average per year in new money also makes Baldwin the third-highest-paid Seahawk on an annual basis behind quarterback Russell Wilson ($21.9 million) and cornerback Richard Sherman ($14 million). The guaranteed money is the fourth-highest among Seahawks after Wilson ($61.5 million), Sherman ($40 million) and safety Earl Thomas ($25.7 million).
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Baldwin was entering the final season of a three-year, $13 million contract signed in 2014. He will play the final season of that deal at $4 million, meaning he will receive $50 million over the next five years.
The Seahawks typically have given extensions to “core” players entering their final season, and team officials had said securing Baldwin before the season began was a goal.
Baldwin is coming off his best season, setting career highs with 78 receptions for 1,069 yards and tying a team record with 14 touchdowns, which also tied for the most in the NFL.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had said when the team concluded its minicamp June 16 that getting an extension done for Baldwin was a priority and that negotiations were underway with Baldwin’s agent, Buddy Baker.
“It is a big deal, and it’s a very serious negotiation, as they all are,” Carroll said. “But he’s done an incredible job for us and been a great teammate. Hopefully, eventually, we’ll get something worked out. I hope it happens. The intent is to get him signed and secured for a good while. So we’ll see if we can get that done.”
Baldwin joined the Seahawks in 2011 as an undrafted free agent and quickly established himself as a key player.
His numbers have increased every year since 2013, when he caught 50 passes. He caught 66 in 2014.
His value last season was greatest in the final eight games when the Seahawks turned to their passing game after injuries hit their running backs. Baldwin made 10 touchdown receptions in one four-game stretch. He became the third player in NFL history to catch at least two touchdown passes in four consecutive games, joining Cris Carter (1995) and Calvin Johnson (2011).
Baldwin was believed to be seeking a contract that would rival the one recently signed by Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns, who received a four-year deal worth a reported $40 million with $20 million guaranteed.
Baldwin largely sidestepped questions about his contract during minicamp.
“There’s nothing to figure out,” Baldwin said. “I’m playing football each day as it comes by. And again, if I focus on the task at hand, all that other stuff will take care of itself. So I don’t really have to think about it too much.”
But in one comment he talked about having recently been engaged while also having achieved a different level of career success in the past year.
“A lot of changes, so I don’t even know how to quantify it,” he said. “I would just say it’s just the process a young man goes through. I’m growing up — I’m 27 years old now, about to be 28 — so again, a lot of great things happened in the past, but I’m looking forward to a lot of great things in the future, so we’re going to focus on the task at hand and keep moving forward.”
Baldwin appeared to confirm the agreement in a tweet on Tuesday, quoting Drake song lyrics stating: “Ok now we got some action. Everything I said, it happened…”
Baldwin was the most pivotal among the players whose contracts were set to run out following the 2016 season. Others include kicker Steven Hauschka, tight end Luke Willson and defensive tackle Jordan Hill.
Baldwin also becomes the highest-paid Seahawks receiver, passing Jermaine Kearse, who signed a three-year, $13.5 million deal in March to remain with the team. Kearse, who received $6.3 million guaranteed, was an unrestricted free agent.
The Seahawks have 11 players making at least $5.75 million per season under contract through at least two more seasons — Wilson (could be a free agent after 2019 season), Sherman (2018), MLB Bobby Wagner (2019), Thomas (2018), tight end Jimmy Graham (2017), DE Cliff Avril (2018), DE Michael Bennett (2017), safety Kam Chancellor (2017), LB K.J. Wright (2018) and cornerback Jeremy Lane (2019).