The Seattle Seahawks will put a bow on an extremely disappointing season on Sunday. Their regular-season finale against their NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals carries no weight and matters little in the grand scheme of things as the Seahawks have already been well eliminated from playoff contention. Seattle's 6-10 record represents their worst season in a decade, and change is undeniably on the horizon.
General manager John Schneider is now preparing to enter an offseason where a plethora of massive decisions loom large. The future of head coach Pete Carroll remains in doubt. Also, franchise quarterback Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be on the move—and the upcoming offseason may see that long-lasting rumor finally come to fruition. While Wilson and Carroll’s situations will undoubtedly dominate the headlines in Seattle, another fairly large decision and contract must be addressed sooner rather than later.
Star wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is experiencing yet another fruitful season, having recorded 70 receptions for 909 receiving yards and a career-high 12 touchdowns in 16 appearances. The former Ole Miss standout has been extremely productive throughout the first three years of his career and is now due for a sizable contract extension as he prepares to enter the final season of his four-year rookie contract in 2022.
A second-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Metcalf is set to earn a modest $1.1 million in 2022. It pales in comparison to what he'll earn on his impending second contract, which he and his representation can begin negotiating with the Seahawks on Monday, per the league's rules. Metcalf's next deal will largely be determined by the market. The 2019 draft saw several excellent receivers get selected on day two, all of which are due for extensions sooner rather than later. Metcalf and his representation will pay close attention to which domino drops first, with the likes of Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, and Diontae Johnson all due for somewhat similar extensions this offseason. The receiver market will be reset by these players. Should Metcalf sign his next deal before those players do, his representation will undeniably look to top the four-year, $72 million contract signed by Kenny Golladay and the New York Giants last offseason.
With that said, it's easy to foresee a four-year, $77.5 million deal being deemed fair market value from both sides of the negotiating table. Metcalf would earn an average annual salary just north of $19 million on such a deal, placing him inside the top-five highest-paid receivers for the 2022 season, slightly ahead of Tyreek Hill, Golladay, and Michael Thomas and slightly behind Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins, and Keenan Allen.
It's just a matter of time before Metcalf puts pen to paper on a long-term, lucrative extension. Metcalf and his fellow 2019 draftees have a chance to reset the market for a receiver in a rather historic manner. No matter what the final numbers may be, it will be well deserved for one of the most dominant and physically imposing receivers in the game today.