Seattle has rarely paid wide receivers big money, and it hasn’t also turned out the way fans like
In the wake of wide receiver Davante Adams signing a massive contract extension with the Green Bay Packers, many Seattle Seahawks fans have come to the realization that Paul Richardson may become too expensive to resign. I took a look at what Richardson could be demanding in free agency back at the end of November, but it also brought to mind a question that I couldn’t wrap my head around because some commenters, both here on Field Gulls and on Twitter, were ready to give Richardson whatever he wants in order to retain his services.
Thus, I set out on a very unscientific study and conducted the following poll on Twitter:
Seahawks fans, which WR should the team pay $7M+ to retain?
Yards/TDs/Yards per Catch/Catch Rate/Snaps Played
— John Gilbert (@SeahawksMachine) December 30, 2017
Obviously 47 votes is a very small sample size, but I was actually somewhat surprised with the results because I expected more of a 50-50 split. However, the final tally shows just how important biases are when considering which players to extend and which ones to let walk. How is that? Well, following the results of this small, highly unscientific poll, here are the full stat lines and identities for the two players:
So, the player that a small sample of Seahawks Twitter would have paid $7 million or more to retain is in fact 2015 Jermaine Kearse, while 2017 Paul Richardson received only 6 of 47 votes.
Of course many fans were dismayed when Seattle signed Kearse after that season on a three year deal with an average annual salary of just $4.5 million. When Richardson gets discussed, many now feel he deserves much more.
So where is the disconnect? Is it because the offense is currently struggling compared to 2015? Is it because heading into 2016 the team had Tyler Lockett and Richardson on the bench to step in and potentially help out while now Amara Darboh and David Moore remain relative unknowns? Is it the 40 yard dash time for the players, is it draft pedigree or is it something entirely different? I’m not here to answer that, it is just something interesting that I have noticed as Richardson’s tenure with the team likely draws to an end.
Fact is, Richardson’s production in 2017 is nearly identical Kearse’s 2015. Obviously Richardson still has a game to put some distance between the two seasons’ worth of totals Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but how much distance can he be expected to really put? Richardson has exactly two career games with more than 75 yards. The chances of his tally looking notably better than that Kearse season are low.
Regardless of what happens, I personally do not expect Paul Richardson to be on the roster in 2018, barring something unforeseen over the remainder of however many games the Seahawks have left. But for the time being, here’s to hoping Richardson is highly productive as Seattle makes a deep push into the postseason.