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Seahawks will need to crack open the checkbook for DK Metcalf

Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

As the true start of the NFL offseason approaches, front offices across the league are preparing to make the moves that will set the teams up to compete in the years to come. For the Seattle Seahawks that will certainly mean addressing the multitude of impending free agents over the next five weeks, while then filling in holes in the roster with the draft. At some point during the offseason it seems likely the Hawks will look to ensure DK Metcalf, one of their most dangerous offensive weapons, will be with the team for years to come.

There are fans who were discouraged with Metcalf’s “disappointing” 2021 campaign, a season in which he recorded 75 catches for 967 yards and a dozen touchdowns, all of which were 28th or better in the NFL. However, there are those who might argue that the Seahawks would be better off trading Metcalf for draft picks rather than handing him the top of market contract he deserves. There’s really no point in wasting time regarding whether or not Metcalf deserves a big contract, because his production speaks for itself.

Here’s where Metcalf ranks all time among Seahawks legends like Tyler Lockett, Doug Baldwin, Steve Largent and Joey Galloway in terms of production in the first three seasons of his career.

That’s it. Through the first three seasons of his career Metcalf has been more prolific in terms of receiving yards than any other player in Seahawks history. Not only that, having just turned 24 in December, Metcalf is likely still years away from reaching his prime. That could be key for Seattle, because as dangerous a threat as Lockett is, he’ll turn 30 in September. In fact, here is how the wide receiver room for the Hawks looks in terms of age heading into the offseason:

  • Tyler Lockett (29, 9/28/1992)
  • Cody Thompson (26, 1/11/1996)
  • Penny Hart (25, 7/5/1996)
  • Matt Cole (25, 11/7/1996)
  • Dee Eskridge (24, 3/23/1997)
  • Aaron Fuller (24, 9/30/1997)
  • DK Metcalf (24, 12/14/1997)
  • Cade Johnson (23, 4/10/1998)
  • Freddie Swain (23, 8/4/1998)

In addition, Metcalf isn’t just near the top in terms of early career production relative to other Seahawks pass catchers. Here is a list of the most receiving yards in NFL history for players in the first three seasons of their career:

  1. Randy Moss, 4,163
  2. Odell Beckham Jr., 4,122
  3. A.J. Green, 3,833
  4. Michael Thomas, 3,787
  5. Torry Hold, 3,786
  6. Mike Evans, 3,578
  7. Jerry Rice, 3,575
  8. DeAndre Hopkins, 3,533
  9. John Jefferson, 3,431
  10. Anquan Boldin, 3,402
  11. Isaac Bruce, 3,391
  12. Charley Hennigan, 3,335
  13. Sterling Sharpe, 3,319
  14. T.Y. Hilton, 3,289
  15. Gary Clark, 3,257
  16. Tyreek Hill, 3,255
  17. Bob Hayes, 3,233
  18. David Boston, 3,227
  19. Mike Wallace, 3,206
  20. DK Metcalf, 3,170

That’s obviously impressive company, but just to make Metcalf’s inclusion on that list more impressive, consider that per the Player Season Finder tool available at Stathead.com, there have been 6,321 players who have recorded one or more receiving yard during the first three seasons of their career. That puts Metcalf, with the 20th most of any player in NFL history, in the company of the best of the best, specifically in the top third of the top one percent in the recorded history of the NFL.

So, in short, DK Metcalf is going to get paid this offseason, and he’s going to get paid a lot. A whole lot. And that means that with top receivers like Davante Adams, Chris Godwin and Mike Williams potentially looking to reset the top of the wide receiver market if they are allowed to hit free agency in March, it might make sense for the Seahawks to break out the checkbook for Metcalf in the next couple of weeks before the price gets higher.