The Seattle Seahawks have rewarded Doug Baldwin for his breakout season, handing the wide receiver a contract extension that will pay him $46 million over four years. Baldwin is now under contract with the Seahawks through the 2020 season. The extension was reported by several outlets and essentially confirmed via Baldwin's Twitter account.
Seahawks signed WR Doug Baldwin to a four-year extension, per source. Now under contract through 2020.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 28, 2016
Doug Baldwin and Seahawks finalizing contract extension, as @TheGeeScott said. Source says it averages $11.5m per year.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 28, 2016
Source says @DougBaldwinJr signed 4-year extension worth $46 million and including approx $24.25 million guaranteed. Sixth-highest pd in NFL— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 28, 2016
"Ok now we got some action. Everything I said, it happened..." #Views 😎— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) June 28, 2016
Baldwin, who will turn 28 a week or so into the 2016 season, has spent the entirety of his five-year career with the Seahawks. During that time, he worked his way up from being a marginal player in their offense to becoming the clear No. 1 passing game target over the second half of last season.
The first four years of Baldwin's career saw him catch 196 passes for 2,757 yards and 15 touchdowns. That's an average line of approximately 49-551-4. Through the first eight games of 2015, he recorded 31 catches for 345 yards and two scores, a 62-690-4 pace that represented an improvement over his career averages, but only a slight one. But then Baldwin took off like almost no other receiver has ever taken off before.
Over the final eight games of Seattle's season, Baldwin hauled in 47 catches for 724 yards and an unbelievable 12 touchdowns. That's a full-season pace of 94-1,248-24, numbers which have obviously never been replicated in a full season (Randy Moss owns the single-season receiving touchdown record with 23). Only 40 times since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970 has anyone hit 94 catches and 1,448 yards, per Pro-Football-Reference.
The $46 million total on Baldwin's extension makes him the eighth-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL in terms of total compensation, according to Spotrac, while the $11.5 million average annual value ranks seventh and the $24.25 million guarantee ranks sixth.
As Seahawks beat writer Sheil Kapadia noted, Seattle now has Baldwin, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright, Jermaine Kearse, and Athyba Rubin all signed through at least 2018. That's one heck of a core to have locked in long-term.