With the 2016 NFL season now in the books, and the 2017 league year not yet upon us, now is a good time to take a look at where things stand with the Seahawks roster. Over the next two weeks, we'll take a position-by-position look at the Seahawks, both looking back at the 2016 season and looking ahead to 2017. Today, the focus is on receiver.
For the second straight year, Doug Baldwin showed not just that he is the Seahawks' top receiver, but also one of the best in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career. While Baldwin was the standout, hauling in a franchise record-tying 94 receptions for a career-high 1,128 yards, the Seahawks also showed their depth, getting significant contributions from Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse, and especially late in the season, from Paul Richardson. Even undrafted rookie Tanner McEvoy showed flashes of big-play ability in limited snaps.
Notable Number: 5
With his 1,128 yards this season and 1,069 last year, Baldwin became just the fifth player in franchise history to record consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, joining Steve Largent, Darrell Jackson, Joey Galloway and Brian Blades.
The Seahawks had more uncertainty at this position last offseason when Kearse was a free agent and Baldwin was heading into the final year of his contract, but having re-signed Kearse and signed Baldwin to a contract extension, there isn't much in the way of uncertainty in terms of losing players. That being said, the Seahawks will always look to add to the competition at this position, just like everywhere else on the roster, and considering they have selected a receiver in four straight drafts, it's a pretty good bet that they could look to do so again this year.
While there isn't much in the way of contract uncertainty, one big offseason storyline will be the recovery of Lockett, who in Week 16 sustained a broken leg that required surgery. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has said the hope is that Lockett will be back for training camp, but that won't be known for certain until this summer.
What The Future Holds
As unfortunate as Lockett's injury was, it did open the door for Richardson to have a bigger role, and he responded in a big way, catching 15 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns over Seattle's final four games, including 83 yards in the Divisional Round loss at Atlanta, and three spectacular grabs in Seattle's Wild Card win over Detroit. Add to the mix the expected development of McEvoy, who is still relatively new to playing receiver, as well as Kenny Lawler, who spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad, and the Seahawks feel good about their depth at receiver even before they made additional moves.
"I think the really great part about Paul is he finally has the chance to play on a consistent basis and he showed up," Carroll said. "Going into the next year we're just counting on him being a big factor. I think he was able to give us the same sparks that Tyler gave us, and we think the world of Tyler. It's a good looking group. (Richardson) made some fantastic plays and I'm glad that he knows that going into the offseason and we know that going into the off season. We come back with the thought of battling and seeing who's going to get more play time. He did a great job for himself and he helped us."
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Cornerback
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Offensive Line
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Defensive Line
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Quarterback
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Safety
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Running Back
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Linebacker
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Tight End
- Offseason Position Breakdown: Special Teams
The best photos from team photographer Rod Mar's behind-the-scenes 'Eye on the Hawks' photo blog from the Seattle Seahawks' 2016 NFL season.