Doug Baldwin signed a four-year contract extension with the Seahawks Tuesday to keep Baldwin in Seattle long-term following one of the best seasons by a receiver in franchise history.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had expressed optimism during the team's minicamp two weeks ago that a deal could get done soon with Baldwin, who was heading into the final season of a multi-year deal he signed before the 2014 season.
"It is a big deal," Carroll said of keeping Baldwin long-term. "… He's done an incredible job for us and been a great, great teammate. And 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."
Baldwin, who signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2011, not only won a roster spot that year, but went on to lead the Seahawks in receptions and receiving yards as a rookie. After establishing himself as a starter and the team's most consistent receiver over the past few years, Baldwin enjoyed a breakout season in 2015, setting career highs with 78 receptions for 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition to setting a franchise record with that touchdown total—which also was tied for most in the NFL—Baldwin also became the team's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2007 and he became just the third Seahawks receiver, along with Steve Largent and Joey Galloway, to have 1,000-plus receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns in the same season.
Baldwin, who was No. 72 on the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2016 list, was a big part of the strong finish to the 2015 season for the Seahawks and the passing game in particular. Baldwin finished the season with 11 touchdown catches over the final six games, including a stretch of 10 touchdowns in four games, a feat that had previously only been accomplished by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Baldwin also joined Cris Carter and Calvin Johnson as the only receivers since 1960 to have multiple touchdown catches in four consecutive games.
Baldwin maintained throughout the offseason that his contract wasn't his focus, but now that he has signed a long-term deal, he joins a list of players under contract through at least 2018 that includes Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Cliff Avril, Jermaine Kearse, Jeremy Lane and Ahtyba Rubin.
Even after accomplishing so much in the past year, Baldwin made it clear earlier in the offseason that no amount of success or recognition will soften the edge that helped him go from undrafted to one of the NFL's best at his position.
"Not at all," Baldwin said when asked if he was at risk of losing his edge. "When I look back on it and I try to figure out what truly motivates me, it's my love for the game. That's what it comes down to. I've been playing this game since I was 6 years old. I've never known a summer off not playing football. Even at times when it gets grueling, when you get out here on this field and smell the grass and feel the air, there's nothing like it. There's no other experience I want to experience in life. I'm just thankful and blessed for the opportunity I get to come out here every day, so I'm not going to take that for granted. That edge will never go away until they force me to hang up my cleats."
A look back at some of the best moments from the Seahawks career of wide receiver Doug Baldwin.