Doug Baldwin was a restricted free agent this season, his fourth in the NFL, tendered at a 2nd round tier and thus due $2.187, which he'd never signed. The Seahawks and Doug have been negotiating an extension or new contract for some time, and now it's arrived! The reported value combining tweets from Louis Riddick and Brian McIntyre is for 3 years at $13M, or a 2 year $11M extension on the tender, depending on how you want to look at it. He'll be making $9M over his first two years, with $8.5M of the contract guaranteed. Apparently there's $2M more available in "achievable bonuses".
Value and structure-wise the contract is very similar to the one Julian Edelman recently signed with the Patriots at $4.3M APY, but as we're growing used to from the Hawks the guaranteed numbers are an above-average chunk of the contract, and that value is likely what kept the APY fairly low.
The contract extension is very short. This too makes sense: Doug Baldwin will be 26 going into the 2014 season, meaning that by extending his contract for only two years he will be a free agent before age 30. The plan from his camp is no doubt to accrue more yards and touchdowns per year, and perhaps win another ring or at least go deep in the playoffs again, which will increase his value on the market.
The short span of this contract is good for Baldwin. The low APY is good for the Hawks, which leaves intact Seattle's extremely rosy salary cap situation (as Davis Hsu has been pointing out in his analysis (offense, defense), the team's committed cap in 2015 is very low at an estimated $112M for the top-51, with this deal like closer to $117M). If Seattle can keep extending their valuable contributors at this kind of cost, they are going to be very well off indeed.
From an outside perspective it may be hard for people to see why the Seahawks prioritized extending Baldwin rather than just letting him play under his tender, as he's never exceeded 788 yards or 5 TDs in his 3 years in the NFL. But Hawks fans know not to stare too hard at receiving numbers for the Hawks offense, which is stingy with passes. Baldwin rarely drops passes and has proven reliable for the big play when the offense needs it. He is an outstanding route runner with that body control and skill in high-pointing the ball this FO values. 36 of his 50 catches last year went for first downs, and 14 for 20 yards or more. Also, his constant anger and competitive drive fits this team's philosophy to a T.
With Tate now a Lion, Baldwin is the main receiver Wilson is familiar with and knows he can rely on. With more speed added the Hawks passing offense proves to be more versatile this coming year, and we'll no doubt see Baldwin line up more often and on multiple positions on the field.