Tyler Lockett has spent the last six seasons making the impossible look routine.
And this week, Lockett and the Seahawks made sure that fans will get several more years of contested catches, one-handed grabs, spectacular sideline footwork and more, with the veteran receiver signing a multi-year extension with the team that selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.
Lockett first made his mark with the Seahawks as an All-Pro returner who also was a quality option as a receiver, but in recent years he has emerged as a bonified No. 1 receiver, putting up huge numbers over the past three seasons.
Lockett began emerging as Russell Wilson's top target in 2018 when injuries limited Doug Baldwin, then when Baldwin retired after the 2018 season, Lockett stepped into an even bigger role the past two years, posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Over the past three years, Lockett ranks fifth among NFL receivers with 28 touchdown catches, 12th in receptions with 239, and 13th in receiving yards with 3,076.
In 2020, Lockett set a franchise record for receptions with 100, and he also became just the sixth player in franchise history to post consecutive 1,000 receiving-yard seasons, joining Hall of Famer Steve Largent, Brian Blades, Joey Galloway (1997-98), Darrell Jackson (2003-2004) and Baldwin (2015-2016).
Still a year and a half away from his 30th birthday, Lockett already ranks fifth in franchise history in receiving yards behind Largent, Blades, Baldwin and Jackson with 4,892; seventh in receptions with 376, trailing those same four, as well as John L. Williams and Bobby Engram; and his 37 touchdown catches are tied for fourth with Galloway, trailing only Largent, Baldwin and Jackson.
"Tyler, he's just so special," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said last season. "He knows the game in and out, he knows the game plan. I always tell you guys, he's like the quarterback on the field. He's just been so dialed in ever since he's gotten here… He loves doing it the right way just keeps finding a way to get open. They can't cover him. He's just so good at everything he does. He's so quick and so fast and just so decisive, he makes the right play every time."
Along with Wilson, Lockett has been a part of one of the most efficient pass-and-catch duos in the NFL, most notably with Wilson posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting Lockett during the entire 2018 season. For all his athletic traits, Lockett's coaches have long credited his football savvy and overall intelligence for helping him become such a dominant player, and the fact that he and his quarterback see the game so similarly has paid big dividends over the years.
"They've been doing it for a long time," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last season. "The last three years have been great years for those two guys, so this is just an extension of it. Three years ago I think they had a perfect rating, so how can you do any better than that? So it's just a matter of continuing to work together and finding the openings and the spacing—the magic really happens after the play breaks down. There's the execution downfield on time and on rhythm, that that's one thing, but it's the other stuff that makes Tyler such an extraordinary player and separates him from anybody. And then of course, the fact that in Russ—I go back I've said this before—they're both such extraordinary natural athletes, they respond to situations similarly. Tyler can do anything, play anything, shoot the hoops, he can do anything, and Russ is the same way. And all of that athleticism and natural sense and all that, it just seems to work together, and they see things the same, often, so they respond together, often. So it's a magic that's really special and fun to see."
And of course, extending Lockett, whose previous contract was set to expire after the 2021 season, also means the Seahawks will keep together one of the NFL's best receiver duos in Lockett and DK Metcalf, who last year broke the franchise season record for receiving yards with 1,303. In 2020, Lockett and Metcalf became the second receiving pair in team history to both record 1,000 yards in the same season, joining Galloway and Blades (1995), and also became the second duo to both have double-digit receiving touchdowns, joining Largent and Daryl Turner (1984).
"You know they're so uniquely different," Carroll said. "They're just uniquely different in style and in all. The result is you throw it to them and they catch it, and they make plays and they make big plays. The consistency I think is really the thing that jumps out—Tyler's been doing it for years. Think how long he's been good, and he just continues to be unique and special… DK just continues to be impressive, and in a totally different fashion. They get along well, they learn from each other, they help each other, they have good relationship and all that. That's always helped with our young guys that the older guys will take them under the wing; Tyler's been like that with DK the whole time."
Take a look back at Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett's first seven seasons in the NFL.