Tyler Lockett is not looking to the end of his career just yet.
In fact, having just signed a new four-year contract extension, he has a more secure future than just about any player on the team. He is the only Seahawk currently under contract for either the 2024 or 2025 seasons.
That contract would end when Lockett is 33 years old, by which time he might rank behind only Steve Largent (whose numbers might be hard to surpass) in just about every team career receiving category.
During a Zoom meeting with media Tuesday to talk about his recent extension and other issues, Lockett said he hopes if he ever signs another contract (he has already signed three with Seattle) that it’s with the Seahawks.
“I would love to finish my career as a Seattle Seahawk,’’ he said. “That’s why I said it was an amazing feeling that they even wanted to keep me on the team even longer. I understand this is a business. I understand that sometimes business moves are made and sometimes it works out in the best interests of ourselves as players and sometimes it doesn’t — it benefits other players. So just to be able to see how they feel about me, understand how they feel about me, it brings that type of feeling to me that, you know, they want me here just as much as I want to be here.
“And who wouldn’t want to finish their career with a team that loves them just as much as you love them?’’
The contract Lockett signed helped both parties. By doing an extension now, Seattle was able to cut Lockett’s salary cap hit for the 2021 season from $14.9 million to $8.05 million, cap room desperately needed to make a bevy of other moves.
But that contract was due to end at the end of the 2021 season and Lockett, who entered the league in 2015, could have been facing the prospect of free agency for the first time in his career.
Instead, the new deal gives him some security and a lot more money. He got $24 million in fully guaranteed money including a $19 million signing bonus.
“To even get to a third contract extension,’’ Lockett marveled, “… we usually say that the average (career) is three-and-a-half years, so to even make it to a second contract you’ve already beat the odds within average years of playing. And to get another contract after that it’s a really amazing accomplishment.’’
Here’s more of what Lockett had to say Tuesday:
Seahawks need to learn to adapt better in 2021
Asked about the tale of two halves that was the Seahawks’ offense in 2020, Lockett echoed what coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson have said about Seattle needing to learn to adapt a little better going forward. Lockett, though, threw in the caveat that it made sense Seattle stuck with what worked early on because it had worked so well.
“Everything is clicking, whatever we choose to do it works so good to where we really didn’t have to worry about adjusting,” Lockett said. “We made everybody adjust to us. So it wasn’t until the second half of the season where we were truly faced with having to learn how to adjust.
“… And then when teams started doing some of the things that we hadn’t seen on film, and they were starting to just do certain things just to prepare for us, now we had to learn how to be able to see what they’re doing before we attack. And that’s why I said it’s different.’’
Lockett ‘would love to move around more’
Via stats from Pro Football Focus, the Seahawks have used Lockett almost equally in the slot and out wide in his six years — 51.3% in the slot and 47.5% out wide.
But those numbers have at times varied widely by year.
Lockett was used outside more early in his career — a high of 68.2% in 2016.
He shifted to being used more inside after the retirement of Doug Baldwin following the 2018 season — career highs of 69.1% and 59.8% in the slot the last two years.
Lockett indicated he hopes that those numbers will meet more in the middle in new coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense.
“Oh yeah, I would love to move around more,’’ said Lockett, who set a team record with 100 receptions last season and paired with DK Metcalf to each go over the 1,000-yard mark, only the second time in Seahawks history that has happened. “But we have so many talented people on our team. Like it’s not just about you. We can move anybody around, and I think that’s the thing that we saw even last year as we got to a place where we started moving people around or whatever.”
Lockett said he briefly met Waldron when he signed his contract (it was officially announced on April 2) and is excited to begin learning the new offense.
“I mean even when we watched the Rams and how they did a lot of things, they did a lot of great things,’’ Lockett said. “They utilize people in a lot of great ways. And just with the opportunity to be able to have Shane come in, I think there’s a lot of things that we can learn. There’s a lot of things he brings to the table which may be new to not only us but maybe coaches, and other people who, you know have coached throughout the years or even players who’ve played throughout the years. So for us, I mean I think we have to go into it with the mindset to able to accept and listen and understand and not act like we know everything. I’m looking forward to it.’’