With Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin‘s four-year, $46MM extension in the books, the Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders is now at the front of the line of wideouts set to land new deals prior to the season, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN. Baldwin, the Chargers’ Keenan Allen and the Jaguars’ Allen Hurns have all signed extensions worth upward of $40MM – including $20MM-plus in guarantees – this month, but each is younger than Sanders. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, having combined for 177 catches and 15 touchdowns during that span, and figures to net a sizable raise over the $5.6MM he’s scheduled to make in 2016. The Broncos and Sanders are already in negotiations, as 9NEWS’ Mike Klis reported earlier this month.
More out of Seattle:
- The Seahawks will now turn their attention to locking up the Super Bowl-winning duo of general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Caroll, whose deals expire after this season, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Extensions for the pair could come during training camp, per Condotta. Defensive end Michael Bennett, meanwhile, is the next member of the Seahawks’ roster likely to rake in a big payday, writes Condotta. Bennett won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 campaign, however, so he might have to wait another year.
- Baldwin went undrafted in 2011 out of Stanford, where he was teammates with superstar Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. After all 32 NFL teams snubbed Baldwin for seven rounds, Sherman – a fifth-rounder that year – contacted the wideout and encouraged him to sign with the Seahawks. “They’re going to call you. I want you to be here,” Sherman said (via Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times). Baldwin has since morphed into one of the pros’ best and richest wideouts because of his football-first mindset, which has come at a cost to his personal life, details Jenks. “I’m not the fastest, the strongest, the most athletic, the tallest,” Baldwin told Jenks. “But in order for me to be good at what I do, I have to focus on my craft so much that it alleviates those other things. I can’t have personal relationships like other people do. I can’t spend time on that.”
- Baldwin’s extension means the Seahawks will enter camp with one fewer distraction, observes ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia, who adds that Baldwin’s 1,000-yard season in 2015 was just the fourth by a slot receiver over the past five years. Baldwin is also the only receiver since 1992 – when targets were first tracked – to rack up 1,000-plus yards while hauling in at least 80 percent of the passes intended for him, per Kapadia.