It was somewhat surprising to see the Seattle Seahawks hand Tyler Lockett a massive four-year contract extension worth $69.2 million on Wednesday.
Lockett, 28, has been among the most-productive receivers in the NFL when targeted over the past three seasons. That span has seen the former Kansas State standout and third-round pick average 80 catches for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s also caught a resounding 76.7% of his targets. These are incredible numbers.
Even then, Lockett’s average annual salary of $17.3 million puts him on par with the likes of Tyreek Hill and Odell Beckham Jr. To the average NFL fan, he’s not on their same level. To those around the league, Lockett is viewed as vastly underrated.
In no way does this do anything to change the broader market dynamics at wide receiver around the NFL moving forward. Simply put, the Seahawks did other wide receivers favors — pass catchers who are in line to cash in when their turn comes in free agency or in terms of extensions.
Tyler Lockett contract extension adds to bullish market for wide receivers
Of the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL in terms of per-year average, all five have signed their new deals within the past two calendar years.
When you expand that list to 10, only Odell Beckham Jr. is the exception to the rule. Interestingly enough, his five-year $90 million deal was signed with the New York Giants before the star receiver was traded to the Cleveland Browns. It really is something when checking in on how the market has expanded for wide receivers around the NFL. The Tyler Lockett contract adds another layer to this.
Average annual salary: Wide receiver contracts
- DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($27.2 million)
- Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($22.0 million)
- Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($20.03 million)
- Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys ($20.0 million)
- Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints ($19.25 million)
- Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns ($18.0 million)
- Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions ($18.0 million)
- Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs ($18.0 million)
- Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears ($17.88 million)
- Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks ($17.3 million)
As the market continues to develop and play out over the next year, this is a clear indication that other productive receivers are about to get paid big time. We’re talking about elite-level pass-catchers who are vastly underpaid and signed their deals under a previously dormant market.
Wide receivers who are in line for huge NFL contracts moving forward
That brings us to our initial point of this article. Tyler Lockett did his fellow wide receivers a solid. An argument could also be made that the Seahawks put rival teams behind the proverbial eight-ball. For the two sides, this could be seen as a win-win.
- Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers: Green Bay might just want to bite the bullet right now and make Adams the highest-paid receiver in NFL history. That will top the $100 million total value Amari Cooper is earning with his Dallas Cowboys. Adams, 28, is coming off a 2020 season that saw him record 115 catches for 1,374 yards and a league-best 18 touchdowns. He’s set to become a free agent after the 2021 campaign and is looking at roughly $25 million on a long-term deal.
- Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills: Acquired in a blockbuster trade from the Vikings last offseason, all Diggs did in his first season with Buffalo was record league-highs in receptions (127) and yards (1,535) while hauling in an otherworldly 77% of his targets. He’s playing under a mere five-year, $72 million contract. Look for a deal to rival the $25 million Adams is likely going to receiver with Green Bay moving forward.
These are just two obvious examples of wide receivers who benefited the most from what Seattle handed Tyler Lockett. Look for Brinks Trucks to make their way to team facilities as other top-end pass-catchers cash in big time moving forward.