Doug Baldwin says extension talks with Seahawks have not started
Last week, wide receiver Doug Baldwin said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that he expects to soon begin discussions with the Seahawks on a contract extension. As of Friday, that has yet to happen.
“I’m not sure,” Baldwin told Gee Scott when asked how close he is to getting a new deal from the Seahawks. “I haven’t had any talks with them. So I guess not close because we haven’t had any talks yet.”
Baldwin is entering the final year of the three-year, $13 million extension he signed before the 2014 season. His contract situation has drawn attention of late as free agency and the draft have passed and the offseason has reached a point where extending players with a year remaining on their contracts could be the next order of business for the Seahawks.
Earlier this week, the Jaguars signed wide receiver Allen Hurns to an extension that is reportedly worth $40 million over four years, with reports indicating it could be worth as much as $11 million a season with escalators. The deal has been viewed as perhaps a baseline for Baldwin or at least a reference point for negotiations.
Hurns, 24, caught 64 passes for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He entered the league in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. Baldwin, 27, is coming off the most productive of his five seasons, setting career highs with 78 catches for 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns, which was tied for the most in the league and broke the franchise record.
Baldwin congratulated Hurns on Twitter after news broke of his extension. Having gone undrafted himself, Baldwin was familiar with Hurns’ backstory.
“Yeah, excited for him just because I knew his past,” Baldwin said. “Very familiar with it obviously being an undrafted guy. But he got in there and he made the best of his opportunities, and that’s all you can ask for is a guy who goes in there, he works hard, he puts his head down, and you can tell he’s extremely grateful for his opportunities. So always happy for another man’s success, especially a guy who works hard like he does.”
That Baldwin has not yet gotten an extension himself or even started negotiations on one doesn’t necessarily mean much. Recall that it wasn’t until the start of training camp last summer when the Seahawks extended quarterback Russell Wilson and then linebacker Bobby Wagner.
At the same time, the start of negotiations wouldn’t mean that an extension is a foregone conclusion. The two sides would need to agree on a price, and there are all sorts of potential road blocks to that happening. Would Baldwin take anything less than $10 million a season given his trajectory, the current receiver market and how the Seahawks paid more than that to Percy Harvin three years ago (when deals were relative to a much lower salary cap)? Would the Seahawks be willing to pay that much to Baldwin given the construction of their offense and all the resources they’ve already allocated to Wilson and their defense?
Either way, Baldwin is under contract for 2016 – he’s scheduled to make $4 million in base salary – and would become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He was asked if he’s thought about what it would be like to not be a Seahawk.
“Obviously, I’ve had to have discussions with my agent about it,” he said. “I’ve obviously thought about it. I’ve built a foundation here in Seattle, I love it here in Seattle, I’ve got my teammates; my teammates are my family. Yeah, I’ve thought about it. It’s not something that you look forward to if you have to do it. It’s just like any other industry, any other thing. If you have to move, there’s difficulties behind it. But that’s part of the business.”
Baldwin was asked to quantify the likelihood that he remains a Seahawk for the next three to five years.
“I can’t put my finger on it,” he said. “At this point, it’s not my decision. I’m still waiting on the call. When we have that conversation, we have that conversation. Again, like I told you before, I’m not worried about it. I’m focused on helping my teammates and being out here for OTAs and practicing my tail off so that we can get ready for this season. So I can’t focus on that, Gee.”