Lockett was entering the final season of a three-year, $31.8 million extension he signed in 2018. He has had his three best seasons since then, with 28 receiving touchdowns (fifth among NFL wide receivers) and 3,076 yards (13th).
The $17.3 million new-money average in Lockett's extension ranks 10th among NFL wide receivers, according to Spotrac.com.
Lockett, 28, was a third-round pick by Seattle in 2015. He made the Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro as a returner in his rookie season, then came back from a compound leg fracture late in the 2016 season to start every game in 2017. He has since supplanted the retired Doug Baldwin as Seattle's No. 1 receiver. Last season, Lockett and DK Metcalf became only the second pair of Seahawks receivers in team history to each top 1,000 yards in the same year.
With Metcalf a year away from becoming eligible for what is expected to be a massive payday, there was no guarantee that Seattle would reinvest in Lockett with a third contract.
Lockett was set to have the third-largest cap hit of any Seahawks player in 2021 at $14.95 million. His extension lowers that number to around $7 million, a source told ESPN. That gives Seattle some needed breathing room against the cap and is one reason for the timing of Lockett's extension, which comes much earlier in the offseason than when the Seahawks typically do new deals for players who are under contract.
Quarterback Russell Wilson and Baldwin celebrated Lockett's extension on Twitter:
The homie!!! @TDLockett12 Let's go!!!— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) March 31, 2021
You deserve it all! Love you bro! 💪🏾🙌🏾
Yo @TDLockett12 you got the lunch bill the next 16 times!— Doug Baldwin Jr 🌹 (@DougBaldwinJr) March 31, 2021
Lockett has shown a knack for improbable catches. Among players with at least 200 targets, he has the second-highest catch percentage over expectation since 2018 at plus-12%, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. That ability was on display during an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals last season, when Lockett turned in the most productive game of his career with 15 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's one thing to make a catch like that some time in your life, but to do it every time you get a chance, it's pretty crazy -- and particularly under pressure and the stress of the game and the situation, all that," coach Pete Carroll said after that game. "He's a phenomenal, phenomenal football player."