Now that the 2020 NFL season has officially come to an end with Tampa Bay winning Super Bowl LV earlier this month, it's time to look ahead to the offseason that will help shape Seattle's success in the 2021 season. With free agency beginning next month, and the draft to follow later in the spring, Seahawks.com is taking a position-by-position look at where the team stands. So far we've covered the offensive and defensive lines, tight end, linebacker, running back and defensive back, and today we take a look at where things stand at receiver. Tomorrow we'll turn our attention to quarterback.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett made their case as being one of the league's best receiving duos in 2020, as well as arguably the top duo in franchise history. In his second season, Metcalf broke Steve Largent's 35-year-old franchise record with 1,303 receiving yards, while Lockett set a franchise record with 100 catches. Both also had 10 touchdown catches, making them the second tandem in team history to post 1,000-yard seasons in the same year (Joey Galloway and Brian Blades, 1995), and double-digit touchdown totals in the same year (Largent and Daryl Turner, 1984), and the first duo to do both in the same season.
Behind those two, the Seahawks were hoping free agent Phillip Dorsett II would be a big-play threat with his speed, but he unfortunately missed the entire season with a foot injury. With Dorsett out, David Moore was the clear No. 3 option and stepped up to the role, having his best season with 35 catches for 417 yards and six touchdowns. Rookie Freddie Swain showed a lot of promise on his limited chances, catching 13 passes for 159 yards and two scores.
Biggest question to answer this offseason: Who is the No. 3 receiver?
There's no mystery in who will be Seattle's top two receivers next season, but beyond that everything is pretty up in the air. Moore and Dorsett are both free agents, meaning the Seahawks could very well need a new No. 3 behind Lockett and Metcalf should those two sign elsewhere. Swain showed enough promise that he will be candidate for that job whether or not Moore or Dorsett re-sign. Josh Gordon signed with Seattle while suspended but was never reinstated, and could still be an option if the league green lights his return.
The Seahawks will likely add more receivers either in the draft or free agency, and also signed four practice squad receives to future contracts, so they'll be plenty of depth competing for jobs, but after Lockett and Metcalf, it looks to be pretty wide open heading into training camp.
Biggest reason for optimism in 2021: Lockett & Metcalf
Yes, there's uncertainty about depth at receiver, but the top-end talent is undeniable, and there's no reason to expect anything but outstanding play once again from Lockett and Metcalf in 2021. Since stepping into a bigger role in 2018, first because of injuries to Doug Baldwin and then after Baldwin's retirement, Lockett has more than 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns over his past three seasons, showing he can be a true No. 1. Metcalf, meanwhile, went from a rookie with a lot of big-play potential in 2019 to already entering the conversation as one of the league's best receivers in his second season, so it's fair to expect that he'll only get better as he continues to develop.
Again, the pecking order behind those two is pretty wide open, but having two 1,000-yard receivers with big-play ability is a great place to start.
"We have a lot of firepower," Carroll said. "The receivers played great this year, and did a marvelous job. Freddie Swain had a big impact on the season. He just contributed early on to go along with Tyler and DK, and then Phillip gets back in action, David had his best season as well."