In the wake of the release of Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin last week, and his unofficial retirement thread posted on social media Sunday, some fans have wondered why he hasn’t simply made an official retirement announcement. The answer to that is very simple, in that it comes down to the requirements of the collective bargaining agreement to collect the injury protection payments to which he may be entitled following his release with an injury designation.
Specifically, just like the situation evolved with Kam Chancellor following his neck injury during the 2017 season, had he officially retired he would have forfeited the portions of his 2018 and 2019 base salaries which were covered by injury protections. The same goes for Baldwin, whose injury protection payments will be calculated based on a percentage of his 2019 and 2020 base salaries, up to the maximum amount allowed by the league. If he retires, then his claim to injury protection payments because under Article 45 he must continue to rehab his injuries in order to recover from the myriad of surgeries he had this offseason.
So, in short, just as there was no official retirement announcement from Cliff Avril or Kam Chancellor, do not expect one from Doug Baldwin anytime soon. Making such an announcement will do nothing more than eliminate his ability to earn up to $1.775M over the next two years, and thus it seems that making such an announcement would not be the wisest choice.