Seattle Seahawks: Why Doug Baldwin is their best wide receiver

The Seattle Seahawks made a terrific personnel decision on Thursday, May 28 by signing Doug Baldwin to a three-year, $13 million contract extension which includes incentives.

If there is one player on the Seattle Seahawks that has proven anything is possible, it is Doug Baldwin. Baldwin was an undrafted free agent in 2011. He suffered shoulder and ankle injuries in 2012, and his 2013 season ended with a Super Bowl win.

Doug Baldwin

In the first three years of Baldwin’s career, he has shown his coaches he is capable of anything no matter what anyone said, even Cris Carter. This past season, Carter called the Seahawks receiving corps “pedestrian” and “appetizers” because he did not think they had a number one receiver. Baldwin is motivated by anger and he has a chip on his shoulder. It makes perfect sense why the Seahawks signed him to a three contract extension.

Baldwin originally signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011. In his rookie season, he exceeded expectations with 51 receptions for 788 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per reception. His stats made him the first undrafted rookie to lead his team in receptions and receiving yards since the Houston Oilers’ Bill Groman in 1960.

In 2012, Baldwin missed two games due to injuries. In the 14 games he did play, he averaged 12.6 yards per reception and had a total of 29 receptions for 366 yards and three touchdowns.

When Sidney Rice tore his ACL and was placed on injured reserve in 2013, Baldwin started the remaining nine games and was extraordinarily productive with 50 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns. However, that was only in the regular season.

The Seattle Seahawks were able to find their way to their first Super Bowl title with Baldwin contributing 13 receptions for 202 yards in 2013’s postseason. In the NFC Championship game against San Francisco he had six catches for 106 yards. He didn’t slow down in the Super Bowl against Denver where he had five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Doug Baldwin

Still not impressed? Baldwin is Seattle’s third down king. In his rookie season, he tied for third in the NFC and was seventh in the NFL in third down receptions with a total of 25. He had 14 in 2012 and 17 catches that moved the chains last season. It makes sense that the Seahawks won every game that Baldwin had at least six catches last season.

In 2012, Sidney Rice led the team with a total of 50 receptions for 748 yards and seven touchdowns.  Golden Tate, who is now in Detroit due to free agency, was the Seattle Seahawks’ leading receiver last season with 64 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns.

[Seattle Seahawks: Undrafted rookies that will make the team]

Baldwin is a favorable receiver to Percy Harvin. Since Harvin was injured for the majority of last season, it is difficult to use recent history to compare him to Baldwin. Harvin ran his 40 yard dash in 4.41 seconds in the 2009 combine. Baldwin ran his in 4.48 seconds. In Harvin’s rookie season, he had 60 receptions for 790 yards and six touchdowns. Both receivers had very similar rookie seasons.

Because of his accomplishments in the past few years, the Seattle Seahawks renewed Baldwin’s contract. The anticipated contract extension arrived months after free agency ended. Baldwin was a restricted free agent, meaning the Seahawks could match any offer that another team makes to him. This year’s draft was loaded with wide receivers which made other NFL teams unlikely to sign him. The Seahawks originally offered Baldwin a one-year, $2.5 million contract, but Baldwin did not accept it because he wanted to stay in Seattle for the long run. Because of the length of his contract extension, he will be able to do another deal before he is 30 years old.

Doug Baldwin

With Tate no longer a Seahawk, Rice and Harvin coming off injuries, and two rookies who have not played in a NFL game, it is safe to say Baldwin is Seattle’s best receiver. Expect even more from the clutch receiver this coming season. He is already making big plays in OTA’s including a 61-yard touchdown where he beat cornerback Byron Maxwell and free safety Earl Thomas.

“I want to make it to the Hall of Fame,” Baldwin said on the NFL Network on Friday.

If he keeps playing like he did last season, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he will be inducted and achieve his ultimate goal.

  • David Hegewald

    he so reminds me of largent.

  • Aaron Huff

    Baldwin is like Largent with attitude , always where is is supposed to be , makes all the catches ,rus all the routs , crafty at getting open . He has one thing I think people overlook and that is a quick burst of speed , Like Harvin , they just hit top speed faster then most and thats what separates them from other ” quick” receivers

  • Zack Phillips

    Baldwin is good and will continue to get better. However, you can only justify him being the best on the team because of the injury bug. I think this year Kearse will continue to grow and I honestly believe he has more raw natural talent than Baldwin does. The honest truth is that as long as the Seahawks keep winning, who cares.

  • Seahawksrocks

    As usual, your assessment is spot on. Baldwin was clutch. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson was throwing to him. I wish you would write more articles about Russell.

    • Holli Alexa Joyce

      Don’t worry, I will write one on Russell soon.

      • jo

        Please don’t rush. Seahawksrocks treats these as dating sites, not sports sites

  • Mike

    Could not agree more. Baldwin doesn’t have blazing speed, but he is very crafty and never gives up on a play. He reminds me a lot of another under-rated Seattle receiver, who just happens to be in Canton.