Tyler Lockett’s Sponsorship Deal With Seahawks Sparks Controversy

Tyler Lockett

Getty Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett warms up prior to the game at Lumen Field on January 01, 2023.

The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett has been a key part of the team’s offense since he was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and on Thursday, May 4, he revealed a new exciting partnership with the team that also immediately raised some red flags across the league.

In an unprecedented move, Lockett announced that his real estate company, Liv N Serve under Keller Williams, will become the “official realtor” of the Seahawks. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted that this deal “might” make Lockett “the first player whose company is an official sponsor of the team on which he plays.”

While many fans applauded Lockett on the ground-breaking partnership, numerous NFL analysts questioned whether this move was kosher within league guidelines.

Former NFL offensive lineman turned broadcaster Ross Tucker tweeted, “Would love to hear from @AndrewBrandt how the league determines whether or not he is paying fair market value so that no salary cap circumvention is going on,” to which Andrew Brandt replied, “There is no doubt that the league is hearing from several teams asking the same question right now.”

Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams tweeted, “Really surprised this isn’t a salary cap circumvention concern…” while several people pointed out this could become a new trend in the NFL. One man joked, “Josh Allen LLC is about to be the official ‘whatever gets money off the cap’ of the Buffalo Bills,” while 610 Sports KC radio host Alex Gold asked, “What’s to prevent ‘Mahomes Real Estate’ from being the Chiefs partner and circumvent the cap?”

Tyler Lockett’s Real Estate Sponsorship With the Seahawks ‘Opens a Potential Can of Worms’

Lockett, who signed a four-year, $69 million contract with the Seahawks in 2021, a deal which included $37 million guaranteed, is well-paid by the organization. And while partnering Liv N Serve with the team he’s employed by sounds like a perfect branding match, there could be an issue if the deal includes some sort of “undisclosed compensation” for Lockett.

Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio wrote, “Such moves open a potential can of worms. A low fee charged by the team becomes, in a roundabout and indirect way, income for the player. But, hey, there was a seemingly too-cozy relationship between the Patriots and TB12, with Brady’s company providing services to the team and getting compensated for them, and the league by all appearances never said ‘boo’ about it.”

As it stands, the 30-year-old Seahawks star appears to be entering grey territory. “The league can be a stickler about teams circumventing the cap to give players value in other ways,” Florio continued. “The Texans lost a fifth-round pick earlier this year for ‘undisclosed compensation in the form of a membership at an alternative athletic facility in 2020.’

“The question becomes how the deal for Lockett’s company compares to other Seahawks sponsorships. If Lockett got a dramatically reduced rate, it could be an issue for the league. If, of course, the league feels like doing anything about it. Consistency in enforcement is often a challenge for the league. Some situations spark scrutiny, while others barely prompt a shrug.”

Tyler Lockett Has a Real Estate License in Both Washington & Texas

Lockett, who recorded 84 receptions for 1,033 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2022 NFL season, also had time to get his real estate license in both Washington and Texas “within the past 14 months,” ESPN‘s Brady Henderson tweeted.

“He has a property in Texas that’s about to close, which will make five transactions and about $6.8M in combined sale prices since he started, plus other deals in the works… Lockett is also getting into commercial real estate as well as residential.” The Kansas State alum’s featured properties on the Liv N Serve website show houses and condos on sale between $560,000 and $5.5 million.

One of Lockett’s newest listings in Hunts Point, Washington, is a five-bedroom, waterfront estate on sale for a cool $43 million.