BY Art Thiel 10:10PM 04/26/2019

Injuries likely ending Doug Baldwin’s career

Shortly after the draft of WR D.K. Metcalf, WR Doug Baldwin was reported considering retirement due to injuries. Carroll and Schneider didn’t deny the report.

Doug Baldwin is second in Seahawks history in touchdown passes. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Not long after the Seahawks drafted big receiver D.K. Metcalf Friday night, bad news emerged about their smallest receiver. After multiple injuries and surgeries, Doug Baldwin’s eight-year career may be over at 30.

ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reported, citing anonymous sources, that Baldwin, one of the best receivers in club history and a stalwart in the locker room and the community, is facing a decision about ending his career.

Baldwin, who arrived in 2011 as an undrafted free agent from Stanford, is recovering from hernia surgery earlier this month, following procedures on a shoulder and a knee. He played in 13 games last season and caught 50 passes, his lowest total in five years, for 618 yards, his second-lowest career total. He described his injury/rehab ordeal late last season as “hell.”

He had his best game of the season in a December victory over Kansas City — seven catches for 126 yards and a TD. Tyler Lockett led the Seahawks with 965 receiving yards, followed by Baldwin and David Moore (445).

Coach Pete Carroll and John Schneider didn’t deny the report Friday, but indicated no decisions have been made as Baldwin rehabs at the facility and considers his options.

“We know Doug’s going to have a hard time,” Schneider said. “Considering retirement? Yeah. There’s a process we have to go through.”

Carroll seemed to be thinking about Baldwin’s career as concluding.

“He’s been an extraordinary part of this program,” he said. “He’s given us everything he’s had. Wherever this goes, we’re going to support him.”

Schneider claimed there was no connection between moving up into the second round’s final pick at 64 to take Metcalf and the news of Baldwin’s pending decision.

“It didn’t really weigh in,” he said. “There’s a process we have to go through with Doug.”

Baldwin’s four-year, $46 million contract has two years left, but none of the money is guaranteed. So if he were released after June 1, according to OvertheCap.com, the Seahawks could save about $10 million in 2019 and $11 million in 2020 against the cap.

Baldwin is third in career receptions and receiving yards and second in touchdowns. He’s received awards for his work in the community and has been active with players in pursuing social justice, using funds from the NFL to develop programs for police reform and other initiatives.

 


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Good call on DK Art. John Schneider was saying the more he dropped in the draft the more the Seahawks draft minds knew they’d have to make a deal so they could draft him.

    Considering the time he missed Angry Doug was amazingly productive. Now he’s got a decision to make and when it’s in regards to his health there’s no decision to make. From what both John and Pete said on the Seahawks website it sounds as though Doug has already started the process with the NFL. I’ll miss Angry Doug the Seahawk take the field but looking forward to seeing Congressman Baldwin in action in the future.

    • art thiel

      Haven’t heard anything, but it’s reasonable to assume the Pats had a hunch that Pete would want a premier CB. But I don’t know if those two rated higher than a D-lineman for this draft.

  • Bruce McDermott

    Doug has always been one of those guys on the Hawks that you could say played football the way it was meant to be played. And his release in particular was often sheer artistry. If this is it, he’s done himself proud, and his team a great service.

    • art thiel

      Well said. His athleticism and intellect make him one of the more remarkable sports figures I’ve had the pleasure to engage.

  • 1coolguy

    Metcalf – JS listened to you Art! FINALLY RW has a tall (6’3″) target to throw to who ALSO has serious wheels.
    Hopefully Baldwin stares at his $11m+ due this year and stays on, even if he pays PT the first half of the season. Even with the poor season he had last year, when he played he was clearly a #1 receiver. So Doug, just take it easy the first 6 or so games and come back ready to go! We need you man!
    The NFL scouts’ takes on Metcalf is he is a STARTER, and hopefully he is, as the door appears open. This was a VERY good pickup by JS!

    • art thiel

      I’m sure John closely follows my recommendations.

      I take from the somber way Pete and John have described Baldwin that the injuries are not likely to be improved by mere avoidance of football.

  • coug73

    Baldwin’s four-year, $46 million contract has two years left, but none of the money is guaranteed. So if he were released after June 1, according to OvertheCap.com, the Seahawks could save about $10 million in 2019 and $11 million in 2020 against the cap.

    Doug Baldwin is a stand up guy who has put his heart and soul into playing for the Seahawks. He has been good for the community. He deserves a better financial outcome than losing $21 million dollars. Keep working hard Mr. Baldwin and good luck.

    • art thiel

      That’s why athletes push so hard for guaranteed money. Baldwin does deserve better, but would you rather give him $10M to not play or give $10M to a healthy contributor?

  • Chris Alexander

    Curious if Doug could delay his decision and spend 2019 on the PUP list then return in 2020. Art?

    • art thiel

      Possible. The Seahawks would have to pay him with no certainty he would be worth the wait physically in 2020.

  • DJ

    Thanks Art! Doug Baldwin is a great Seahawk. He was able to push himself to excel and keep himself there for a several years. Mind and body, he’s amazing. It’s been only a matter of time for his size and his position to catch up with him and take a toll. Physics is a bitch. Still, wish him well in his decision, and hope to see him in the Ring of Honor someday.

    • art thiel

      Watching the highlight video of his catches should be must see for any Seahawks fan.

  • tor5

    The talent, the toughness, the smarts, the character. Doug is the epitome of a great player and I hope it ain’t over. He will always be one of my all-time favorites.