Seahawks’ $30 Million Star Considered Cut Candidate: Analyst

Tyler Lockett

Getty The Seahawks could save money by unloading Tyler Lockett.

A longtime veteran of the Seattle Seahawks may be a potential cut or trade candidate after June 1.

As mentioned by Pro Football Network’s Tony Catalina, wide receiver Tyler Lockett could be a logical candidate. If the Seahawks release/trade Lockett after June 1, they would save $17 million while absorbing a $9.9 million dead cap hit.

Catalina argues that as the Seahawks continue to trend towards a younger roster – especially with a new regime led by first-year head coach Mike Macdonald – unloading the 31-year-old Lockett could make sense.

“Trading or cutting Lockett with a post-June 1 designation would save Seattle $17 million with a roughly $9.9 million dead cap hit, setting up a situation where the Seahawks are able to save money while also beginning more of a youth movement around a team that appears to be getting younger,” writes Catalina.

Tyler Lockett Remains Go-To Receiver for Seahawks

Lockett has been a member of the Seahawks since 2015 when the franchise used a third-round draft pick on him. The 5-foot-10 receiver is actually the longest-tenured member of Seattle and has served as a starter since the 2015 season.

While Lockett will turn 32 years old during the 2024 season, he remains a productive weapon and is still the second-best receiver on the team. Lockett actually led the team in receptions and ranked second in receiving yards and touchdowns. His 122 targets also paced the Seahawks, with three more targets than star receiver D.K. Metcalf.

However, it’s worth noting that Seattle has 2023 first-round draft pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba waiting in the wings. Smith-Njigba had a productive rookie season as the team’s No. 3 option, posting 63 receptions for 628 receiving yards and four touchdowns. It’s fair to say that it’s only a matter of time – if not as soon as this season – that the Seahawks start targeting Smith-Njigba as the second option.

The move definitely makes sense from a salary cap standpoint. Lockett agreed to a restructured deal in the offseason that sees him earn $30 million over two years with a max value of $34 million and nearly $13 million this season guaranteed.

Via Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports:

“By virtue of his restructure, Lockett’s cap hit over the next two years dropped from $53,790,000 to $30 million,” writes DeArdo. “By restructuring his contract, Lockett will go from making $27 million this season to somewhere in the ballpark of $15 million-$17 million.”

Why Seahawks Unloading Tyler Lockett in 2024 Doesn’t Make Sense

It’s worth noting that the cap savings ($17 million) would go into effect for the 2025 season.

Considering the Seahawks are entering their first year under a new head coach with expectations of at least contending for a playoff spot, it makes little sense to release Lockett. If a worthwhile trade offer comes along, that’s a more realistic scenario. However, it would have to be a draft pick worth unloading Lockett for considering he technically was the Seahawks’ leading receiver last season.

The more likely scenario sees Seattle retain Lockett with the veteran receiver seeing a decreased role on offense. The idea of the Seahawks releasing Lockett makes little sense and it’s hard to envision teams knocking down the door to acquire a receiver on the verge of turning 32 years old with a cap figure of over $18 million.

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