John Schneider went back to the 2015 draft with two big moves Wednesday and Green Bay’s quarterback deals impacted Seattle’s QB picture for this season and beyond.
Schneider’s first move was not a big shock: Making a cheap deal with Green Bay to bring in QB Brett Hundley as Russell Wilson’s ostensible backup.
The other was slightly more surprising, but in a pleasant way: Guaranteeing Tyler Lockett $20 million in a three-year extension that could be worth $37.8 million.
And, in other Green Bay-Seattle news, Aaron Rodgers reportedly agreed to a four-year extension worth $33.5 million a year — setting the market for Wilson’s next extension.
The Seahawks obviously have huge faith that Lockett will rally from a tough couple of years caused by a broken leg.
The Seahawks traded up to get Lockett in the third round in 2015, and they obviously think the best is yet to come with him. They didn’t want to pay Paul Richardson $8 million per year (which he got from Washington), but they were willing to pay the more talented Lockett like a top-20 receiver (Doug Baldwin ranks 16th at $11.5M APY, and Lockett 21st).
Lockett was stellar as a rookie in 2015, making the All-Pro team as a punt returner. But then he suffered a broken leg against Arizona in December 2016 — an injury that hindered him all of last season.
He has been the No. 2 receiver since last year, when Jermaine Kearse was traded, and he said he expects to have his best year this season.
“I want to be able to put everything together,” he told reporters in early August. “I don’t want to just be a great returner and an average receiver. I want to be able to be a great receiver and a great returner as well, and I think this is the year where it happens.”
Lockett also said he likes Brian Schottenheimer’s offense because it allows him to be creative.
“I think it’s allowed me to be able to play my game a lot more,” Lockett told 710 ESPN. “Being able to be more patient, being able to set people up more – kinda do some of the things that I was doing at Kansas State, because I have more time, especially when I’m in a slot to be able to pick and choose which way I want to go and how I want to run certain things. I think that’s the thing that kinda brings out a lot of my game.”
Lockett is the second extension Schneider has done this preseason — Duane Brown got a new deal as well. The two other big players (not counting Earl Thomas) who could merit deals are Frank Clark and K.J. Wright, although the Hawks have not been talking to Wright and Clark seems likely to want more than Seattle would be willing to pay ($14M vs. $10M). But the Hawks have a clean slate on the salary cap starting next year, so perhaps Schneider will step up for Clark in a way he couldn’t for Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril when the Hawks were tight against the cap.
The GM certainly will have to step up for Wilson next year, with the price now around $35 million per season. We wrote about Wilson’s contract situation back in May.
As for Hundley, we have long said the Seahawks made a mistake by not drafting him in 2015 instead of Terry Poole; the Hawks drafted Poole in the fourth round and the Packers took Hundley in the fifth.
Now, three years later, the Hawks apparently sent a sixth-rounder for Hundley, who figures to bump Austin Davis as the backup while rookie Alex McGough heads to the practice squad.
Hundley started nine games for the Packers last season after Aaron Rodgers was injured, and the reviews were not very good. Hundley threw nine touchdown passes but 12 interceptions as the Pack went 3-6. Green Bay brought in DeShone Kizer to be the No. 2 this year.
But Hundley seems to fit as Russell Wilson’s backup, and Schottenheimer did well with Jacoby Brissett, another mobile QB, in Indy last season. It’s a one-year flier for now, so we’ll see how it turns out.