Yesterday Seattle Seahawks wide out Doug Baldwin cashed in on a hefty new contract extension. While the former undrafted Stanford Cardinal is an important part of the offense it begs a serious question. Did the Seattle Seahawks overpay Doug Baldwin?
When you think about the top receivers in the league where does Baldwin fit in your rankings. Is he top 5, top 10, or maybe top 20? According to Sportrac, Doug Baldwin is now the 7th highest paid receiver annually. By Comparison Doug Baldwin will earn a little more than $3.5 million more than Antonio Brown this season. When ranking my top 10 receivers Baldwin does not make the cut.
In no particular order: Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, Jordy Nelson, Amari Cooper, and Brandon Marshall. That list doesn’t include some other really good names such as Brandin Cooks and Jarvis Landry. When you think about it where does Doug Baldwin really fall on this list.
In terms of statistics Baldwin ranked 21st among receivers in yards, tied for first in touchdowns, and 24th in terms of catches. Now touchdowns of course can be a bit skewed in terms of a teams scoring opportunities. Having Russell Wilson absolutely helps in that regard. So did a healthy Marshawn Lynch and or Thomas Rawls. Considering Baldwin is coming off a big breakout season compared to seasons prior I would have likely made him prove it for one more season.
When looking at the Seahawks roster paying Baldwin $11.5 million per year may not have been the smartest move. Jimmy Graham get $9 million per year makes $20 million out of just two passing targets. According to Sportrac Seattle has just shy of $10 million in salary cap space this season. The good news is for Seattle they do not have any major free agents set to hit the market for the following season outside of kicker Stephen Haushka. While retaining Baldwin may have been a priority I have always been the person who loves picking up those compensation picks for players who are going to be massively overpaid by other organizations. When weighing the cost to re-sign him I would have taken the contract year production in 2016 to guaranteeing myself a third round compensation pick the following season. While I like Doug Baldwin the price is far to high for a player that doesn’t crack my top 10 receivers.
The Verdict: Overpaid, But do you agree?