Metcalf trade always seemed possible; now it looks likely

We’ve been talking about a possible DK Metcalf trade since December, and now everyone else is catching on to the idea that this could indeed happen — especially as the explosive wide receiver market has surprised John Schneider and the Seahawks.

In the first week of free agency, three receivers got deals worth at least $20 million. Then Davante Adams, who annually is among the three best receivers in the league, topped the market at $22 million per year after he was traded from Green Bay to the Raiders.

Then Tyreek Hill trumped that, getting $25 million a year from Miami as part of a trade from Kansas City.

Metcalf has not earned that much, especially after a disappointing 2021, but he certainly can argue that he should be paid more than the Bucs’ Chris Godwin ($20 million), the Chargers’ Mike Williams ($20 million) or Christian Kirk, whose deal with Jacksonville could be worth $21 million a year.

So, yeah, Metcalf may seek $25 million. And the Seahawks probably don’t want to pay it.

Pete Carroll said he wants to re-sign Metcalf, but Schneider told Seattle Sports 710 AM that “there’s a sense of shock” at the receiver market. Schneider often will flat out say when he wants to keep a guy, but he did not say that about Metcalf.

All he said was: “Everybody loves DK. He’s a great player. People have to game plan for him and he influences every single game that he’s a part of, whether it’s people shifting coverages his way or him just running straight through the coverage or having guys play man (coverage) where he’s just tossing people off him, right? He influences games, there’s no question about it. And we love him. Everybody in the building loves him.

“Specifically with extensions and contract situations, we don’t get into that. He’s an unbelievable player. It is a great question because when you look at it around the league, now you’re looking at Davante and his deal and Mike Williams’ deal and obviously what happened with Tyreek.”

It’s similar to 2019, when the pass rusher market hit $20 million and the Seahawks chose to trade Frank Clark rather than pay him. (He won a Super Bowl with Kansas City, but he has just 18 sacks in three seasons and just had to redo his deal to stay.)

With 2022 looking like it probably will be a ramp-up season, it would not be a surprise — or a mistake — if the Hawks decided to add to their two-year stock of picks by trading Metcalf. He’s the most valuable asset they have (now that Russell Wilson is gone), and he’s a luxury for a team that needs to quickly power up some other positions and still can win without him anyway (assuming a quarterback is found).

Adams yielded Green Bay a first-rounder and second-rounder, while Hill returned five picks to KC — a 1, a 2 and three Day 3 picks.

Metcalf, five years younger than Adams, certainly would net at least a 1 and 2 as well. That could give the Seahawks two 1s and three 2s in this draft — some great ammo to address left tackle, corner, pass rusher/linebacker, quarterback and running back.

The Seahawks still would have a number of good receiving options in Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain, Noah Fant and Will Dissly. And the draft is now annually loaded with lots of good receivers. It’s a position you don’t have to overpay.

Some have mentioned dealing Lockett, but he just got a planned $13 million option bonus and the Hawks would take a big cap hit (an extra $21 million) if they traded him before June. Even a trade after June 1 would mean $21 million in dead money in 2023, so Lockett is essentially “locked” in through 2023.

The big question is whether the Hawks want to pay Metcalf, too, or use his value to fill other positions. As we suspected months ago, it’s looking more and more like it might end up being the latter.

3 thoughts on “Metcalf trade always seemed possible; now it looks likely”

  1. Is anyone else alarmed by an NFL senior executive and lifer expressing “a sense of shock” over a sudden market shift? That’s something that these guys are paid to anticipate.

    I think back to an episode of the Matt Hasselbeck Show, where Mike Salk started to say that MH had never had a receiver like Tyler Lockett (I think that’s who it was). Hasselbeck interrupted: “I never had a receiver like DK Metcalf.” He went out to point out that Metcalf made all the other receivers better and boosted their numbers even in games where Metcalf didn’t seem to do much. He might as well have added that the same applied to the QB.

    The argument to move on from him is certainly defensible. But let’s recognize that paying DK is an investment in the entire passing game. I’m skeptical that in this case, the impact of one great talent can be replaced by stocking up on several good ones. And that’s assuming that Schneider doesn’t use any added draft picks on the second comings of Gary Jennings and Amara Darboh.

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  2. I think “sense of shock” might have been over lesser WRs being paid $20M, meaning the Hawks would have to go up to $25M to keep Metcalf. But yeah, Schneider is terrible on the UFA market — always has been.

    Meanwhile, great line, Paul: “second comings of Gary Jennings and Amara Darboh.”

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  3. I am in the camp of keeping unicorns. Not many out there. Unless you can trade one for 2 unicorns. But if the plan is in the next 2 years to have a qb on a rookie contract, you can afford DK. In 2 yrs, the price won’t seem that high as cap rises.

    They traded for Adams and paid him because he is supposed to be a unicorn. And I think he can be. Do the Hawks believe DK is a unicorn? If yes, they pay him. If not, they trade him.
    They traded Russ in part because he was no longer a unicorn.

    long live Unicorns, hope they draft a couple this year

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