Despite some big plays from some unheralded wide receivers in the Super Bowl — like Chris Matthews’ breakoutgame andJermaine Kearse’s insane catch— the Seattle Seahawks are still in need of a game-changing receiver.
Seattle’s leading receiver during the regular season, Doug Baldwin, finished the Super Bowl with just one catch for three yards — a touchdown where he only got open because Darrelle Revis ran into a referee. Kearse, despite his big catch, only finished with 45 yards on three catches, and Matthews’ four catches for 109 yards were the first four catches of his career.
With a dominant defence, a league-best running game, and one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, wide receiver is Seattle’s only real weakness.
The Seahawks will have trouble upgrading their receivers this offseason because the two staples of their offence, Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, are both due for contract extensions.
Wilson’s rookie salary has been one of Seattle’s biggest advantages. He’s made less then $US1 million per year in his first three seasons, which allowed the team to spend money elsewhere on the roster. But his contract extension could pay him more than $US20 million per season going forward.
Lynch was thought to be a goner this offseason, but the Seahawks are reportedly working on an extension that could double his expected salary from $US5 million to $US10 million per season.
Complicating matters for Seattle, Kearse and Ricardo Lockette are both free agents this season, coming off team-friendly contracts that paid both of them less than $US600,000. Kearse in particular may command far more money than his rookie contract after a breakout year in which he had over 550 receiving yards.
Seahawks GM John Schneider admitted that free agency will be a struggle, particularly with Wilson’s extension:
“It presents challenges, there is no question. We are still going to be drafting young players and playing young players, so we might not be able to dip into free agency like you may want to here and there or compensate somebody else that you want to compensate that is already on your team.”
The Seahawks have done well finding talented players deep in the draft, or completely out of the draft — as they did with Baldwin, Kearse, and Matthews — but with a lack of financial resources, filling their holes at wide receiver may be difficult.
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