4 years, $46 million, to keep Doug Baldwin locked down through the 2020 season.
$24 million is guaranteed, including his entire 2017 salary and half of his 2018 salary. So, at the very least (because I know this is what people like to think about as soon as a contract is signed – how soon can we break out of it?), figure Baldwin’s status with the team is safe at least through the 2018 season. But, assuming his production remains where it has been, it’s pretty safe to say Baldwin will be a Seahawk for Life.
It’s impressive that this is one of the top 7 or 8 richest contracts for a wide receiver in the league today. Which gets me to wondering: what are people thinking about this deal outside of the bubble of Seattle? Obviously, as Seahawks fans, I think you have to love the deal. WE know the true value of someone like Doug Baldwin. He’s not a guy who’s going to get 50 million targets like Antonio Brown or Julio Jones. Baldwin’s eliteness doesn’t come with 10 force-fed targets per game. Indeed, until his supernatural run in the second half of last season, where – starting with the Arizona game – he caught 12 of his 14 touchdowns, and 724 of his 1,069 yards, Doug Baldwin is the LAST name you’d want to see on your fantasy football team!
Baldwin’s value is in how he does more with less. His efficiency is tops in the game today. Stick him in Tom Brady’s offense, and he’d put up better numbers than Wes Welker in his prime. Stick him in San Diego, Green Bay, or pair him with Chip Kelly and any competent QB, and you’d see a guy making many multiple Pro Bowls on his way to a Hall of Fame career. His proficiency in the slot is top notch, but his versatility to line up anywhere and catch passes anywhere is truly what sets him apart. When you tack on the Jerry Rice work ethic and his intangible leadership qualities, as a Seahawks fan I can tell you that 4 years and $46 million is a bargain.
But, what does the rest of the nation think? I’d be curious. I think the more in touch commentators trust he’s a perfect fit in this system. But, I have to believe, deep down, the vast majority of the football-viewing public saw this deal and laughed their asses off. Not that it matters! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not THAT insecure. But, I think I’d like to see their faces over the next few years, as Baldwin is firmly entrenched in his prime, with this unequivocally being Russell Wilson’s team – understanding that the mentality will always be run-first, but let’s face it, you don’t keep a cherry red Corvette locked up in storage only to drive it three times a year – the numbers Baldwin will put up will be astonishing. If Baldwin doesn’t finally make a Pro Bowl in the next four years, I’ll be legitimately shocked.
This deal ensures Baldwin will go down as the second-greatest receiver in franchise history. Which is appropriate. He’s already in the top 10 in franchise history in most important figures, and he’s only been here for 5 seasons. Just imagine where he’ll be when you DOUBLE the number of seasons! Especially if he takes off, like I think he can.