9:08am: Baldwin and the Seahawks are “very close” to reaching an agreement, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who says to expect a shorter term — perhaps three years.
8:22am: One restricted free agent remains unsigned, but it may just be a matter of time until wide receiver Doug Baldwin and the Seahawks come to an agreement on a multiyear contract. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (Twitter links), the two sides have been moving toward a deal, and one could be struck “very soon.”
Baldwin, 25, indicated yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link) that while he’d like a longer-term contract, he’s prepared to go out and play the 2014 season on his RFA tender, which is worth $2.187MM. He and the Seahawks still have a little time to work out an agreement — if RFAs have yet to sign new contracts or accept their one-year tenders by June 15, their leverage diminishes significantly, since clubs can withdraw those tenders and still regain exclusive negotiating rights.
By the sounds of Garafolo’s report, Seattle and Baldwin should have in agreement in place by that point, and if so, it’ll be interesting to see what it looks like. The Stanford alum has modest career numbers, including 50 receptions for 778 yards in ’13, but he’s still young and could be in line for a bigger role in the team’s offense now that Golden Tate is no longer in the picture. Tate received more than $6MM annually to sign a long-term contract with the Lions this offseason, and while Baldwin may not match that figure, his per-year salary on a multiyear deal would presumably exceed his $2.187MM tender.
If the two sides don’t work something out, Baldwin figures to play out the season on his one-year tender, then become eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2015.