The Seattle Seahawks are preparing to enter a crucial offseason. With the NFL draft and free agency periods fast approaching, the Seahawks have quickly turned their attention to improving a roster that finished last place in an ever-competitive NFC West division that sent three teams to the postseason, including the eventual Super-Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks are playing catch-up. It's going to be difficult for general manager John Schneider to achieve such improvement via the 2022 NFL Draft. The Seahawks do not possess a first-round selection as a result of the blockbuster trade that netted them former Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams. There's an indication the Seahawks may be able to recoup a first-round pick by trading away star wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, but Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll would be foolish to contemplate partaking in such a strategy. The 64th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Metcalf immediately took the league by storm and has quickly developed into one of the most devastating playmakers at the receiver position. Metcalf has recorded an astounding 3,170 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns on 216 receptions in three professional seasons. The numbers are truly staggering and consistent. The Seahawks would almost certainly take a significant step backward offensively by trading Metcalf in exchange for immediate and future draft capital. We often place an absurd amount of value on draft picks. The unknown is exciting, but such a trade would force the Seahawks to draft another receiver in the near future with the hopes of finding another ... D.K. Metcalf? Don't force yourself to replace what you already have. Furthermore, the Rams just captured the Super Bowl by parting with all of their first-round picks in exchange for proven talents such as Metcalf. Metcalf is entering an ever-important contract season. The Seahawks do not possess a fifth-year option on Metcalf due to his second-round draft billing. Metcalf is scheduled to earn a base salary of just $3.9 million in 2022, via Spotrac. Metcalf and his representation will undeniably be eager to begin negotiations on a new long-term contract. T he former Ole Miss standout is due to land an extremely sizable raise in pay that could reward him roughly $20 million annually going forward. This could create a metaphorical headache for Schneider, as navigating the salary cap while handing out substantial amounts of money to players on expiring contracts brings new-found difficulties, but Metcalf is exactly the type of proven playmaker the Seahawks should reward sooner rather than later. Seattle actually finds itself in a great position against the salary cap. The Seahawks currently possess $35.3 million in immediate financial freedom, via Spotrac. Additional space will be created via veteran releases and/or restructures. It represents a handsome figure that should help Schneider offset the lack of a first-round selection by signing quality players who can contribute immediately. There is more than enough money for Seattle to be aggressive players in free agency while retaining Metcalf's services for years to come via a lengthy extension. Seattle's window to capture a second Super Bowl in the Russell Wilson era is beginning to close. The 33-year-old Wilson isn't getting younger, and Seattle should remain steadfast in their pursuit of another Lombardi trophy. Wilson has expressed concerns with the direction of the franchise in the past, and parting with one of his favorite playmakers in Metcalf in exchange for a mysterious, unproven draft pick would undoubtedly further damage the relationship between star quarterback and franchise. Seattle must focus on bouncing back and returning to its winning customs in 2022. Metcalf needs to be a part of that solution going forward.
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