The Seattle Seahawks have a very good roster, but what's especially nice and hopeful about their team is that the vast majority of current Seahawks are young and signed through 2017, at least. This series leading up to the regular season opener on September 11 will take a closer look at 30 such players, all of whom won't be turning 30 this year.
Player: Paul Richardson, WR
How acquired: Second round pick (45th overall) in 2014 draft out of Colorado
Free Agent: 2018
I have to admit that I never thought I could describe Seattle's receivers as having an "embarrassment of riches" but here we are and here is one of those riches, Paul "Riches" Richardson.
This is what happens when Richardson reaches his full potential and doesn't suffer any injuries: As a junior at Colorado, three years after being dismissed from UCLA before ever playing in a game and one year after his tearing his ACL for the first time, Richardson had 83 catches for 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing with quarterbacks Connor Wood and Sefo Liufau against Pac-12 defenses whose only other concerns when facing the Buffs were guys like D.D. Goodson, Nelson Spruce, Michael Adkins II, and Christian Powell.
Richardson smartly bolted school after that in order to college some NFL money before his next devastating injury or off-field embarrassment, and so far seems wise for doing so because he missed all but one game last season after returning from a torn ACL only to hurt his hamstring after one catch.
However, Richardson now has an opportunity, if healthy, to once again be an explosive star on offense. If he can just avoid injury over the next two seasons, I believe there's a good chance that he'll hit free agency in 2018 and become a premier free agent because he really is that talented. The best case scenario for the Seahawks in that situation is that if they free themselves of the $5 million owed to Jermaine Kearse in 2018, they could potentially keep Richardson for the long haul.
It's not talked about often, but the pairing of Lockett and Richardson could really be the dream scenario for Russell Wilson and the coaches when thinking about the bulk of Wilson's career in terms of which receivers benefit from this stretch.