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Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett
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Huard: Best option for Seahawks and Tyler Lockett is to let contract play out

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett is entering the last year of his contract. (Getty)

The future of multiple Seahawks mainstays are murky this offseason.

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With the cap going down by at least $10 million from 2020 to 2021, signing players this offseason may be harder than usual. And for the Seahawks, they have a lot of familiar faces set to hit the open market and not as much cap space as you’d like to have this time of year.

Linebacker K.J. Wright, Seattle’s longest-tenured player, is hitting free agency, as are running back Chris Carson and cornerback Shaquill Griffin.

As far as potential trades go, linebacker Bobby Wagner, the Seahawks’ defensive captain, has been discussed as a candidate. He’s making $18 million a year and could help clear salary cap space and boost Seattle’s draft stock, which as of now contains just four picks including no first- or third-round selections.

Then there’s also all the talk surrounding quarterback Russell Wilson and his comments about Seattle’s inability to protect him from hits and sacks.

Another player whose future could be decided this offseason is one of Wilson’s favorite targets, wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who has been with the Seahawks since they drafted him in the third round in 2015.

Lockett, 28, is entering the last year of his contract and is set to make $13.75 million, per Spotrac. He’s coming off a 100-catch year, which set a new Seahawks record for receptions in a single season. But with the emergence of DK Metcalf as a star receiver, as well as Seattle needing cap relief, Lockett could be a key player to watch this offseason. Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites on Twitter), reported Wednesday night that the Miami Dolphins have interest in Lockett and that the Seahawks, who have just four draft picks in April, are interested in Miami having multiple second-round picks as well as young and cheap offensive linemen.

During the Blue 42 segment of a recent edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard was asked to pick one of three options for Lockett this offseason: extend him, let him play out his deal, or trade him.

Huard chose “Door No. 2.”

“Mostly because you’re going to have DK Metcalf looming a year from now (looking for an extension), and I think as you divvy up the receiver gold, he’s going to have to be paid a few more of those (dollars) than Tyler Lockett, which would be a third contract for Tyler,” Huard said.

Related: How a potential Metcalf extension impacts Hawks’ offseason

Huard also wanted to give credit to the Seahawks for extending Lockett when they did. He said that we often look back on deals that didn’t pan out like the signings of tight end Greg Olsen and offensive lineman B.J. Finney last offseason but don’t give the appropriate credit when a deal works out, which has been the case with Lockett.

Lockett signed a three-year extension worth just over $30 million ahead of the 2018 season. At that point, Lockett had only started roughly half the games he’d played in and had over 600 receiving yards in a season just once, which was his rookie season in 2015. Additionally, he was just one year removed from a broken leg.

Lockett immediately made the Seahawks look smart as he set career highs in receptions (57), yards (965) and touchdowns (10) in 2018. In 2019, he had his first 1,000-yard season, and in 2020 he caught 100 passes and had 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“You don’t look at the really quality deals (enough), and they’ve made a bunch of them and Tyler Lockett would be right near the top of that, getting out in front of it,” he said.

Though Huard believes Lockett has been worth every penny the Seahawks have paid him, he thinks the team needs to just let him finish out his deal before figuring out what’s next for him.

“I think you’ve got to see where the cap will then be in 2022,” Huard said. “DK Metcalf, as I said, is looming. (The Seahawks also have to figure out deals) with Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap, K.J. Wright and other guys you look to extend.”

As far as trading goes, Huard doesn’t think Seattle’s receiver room is deep enough at the moment to where trading Lockett makes sense.

“I don’t think you’ve developed (No. 3-5 receivers) well enough, comfortably enough on your roster that you feel good about moving on from Tyler Lockett and it’s just the DK Metcalf show,” he said. “I think you love the number he’s at, I think you’re comfortable, I think he’s outperformed that in many ways and I would expect the same in this upcoming season.”

Listen to the conversation at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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