Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin may have signed a new deal today that could pay him as much as $13 million or more over three seasons.
But he says today he, and the team, will retain the chip-on-the-shoulder that will helped propel the team to its Super Bowl title.
“It’s funny,” Baldwin said. “I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to this question, and I think the real answer lies within just winning one Super Bowl wasn’t the goal for any of us. I think that the guys that we have on this team, all of them want to leave a legacy that’s bigger than just winning Super Bowls, or winning a Super Bowl. When I go out there and I practice against Earl Thomas, he’s the same competitive fiery guy that he was two years ago. Nothing has changed. Obviously everyone around us, the fans, the community, the city of Seattle has shown that they’re extremely excited about the Super Bowl, but all of us as players we’re just so anxious to get back to work to show that we belong, that it wasn’t a fluke, that we can go out and do it again, and that we will do it again. That’s what the guys are so anxious about. You see it at practice. Some of you guys were at practice on Tuesday and you have seen that. Nothing has changed for us.”
Baldwin also said that he is throwing his name in the hat to be the team’s punt returner, though he also likes the role of helping block the other team’s gunners.
“I am,” he said. “But like I said I’m really passionate about the defensive side of it. I love defense to be honest with you. I feel like I’m a player that has a defensive mindset so when I’m out there I’m playing defense technically. That’s fun to me; I enjoy that part of it. I told (coach) Pete (Carroll) don’t take me off of it just yet. I’ll do what he wants me to do, but I really want to play the position that I’ve been playing.”
Here’s more of what Baldwin said today:
On playing inside and outside receiver: “Oh yeah without a doubt. I’m extremely excited about continuing on this path. I think that I’ve more than shown that I’m capable of not only playing outside, but playing inside at any position that they put me at, and that I will find a way to have success at it.”
On what allows him to play outside: “I think I just opened myself up to be able to do different things. When I’m in the slot sometimes you have to be confined to certain rules because that’s just the way the slot is. In order to be outside as well you have to be more flexible in doing different things in terms of releases, in terms of the way you run your routes, and that’s exciting for me. That’s another challenge. I played outside in college so it’s just going back to that. It’s just relearning what I’ve learned before.”
On if he has a favorite spot between the three, flanker, split end and slot: “I love them all.”
On what does it mean to him and the other guys in the locker room when they see the team taking care of the guys that have worked hard: “That’s what they said. That’s what John and Pete said. They said they were going to take care of their own guys first, and they were going to find a way to do that. They’ve done that, and they’ve been true to their word. I think that that message is spreading across the locker room in that if you continue to put in the hard work and the effort and if you show that you’re willing to buy in to what we have here, that you’ll be rewarded and that you’ll be shown that you’re appreciated, and obviously they were able to do that.”
On if he thinks it is unusual that they have been able to keep that hungry mindset: “To be honest with you I don’t know. I’m ignorant to the fact that this is not normal because of the fact that this is all I’ve known. When I was at Stanford it was the same way. We had the same mentality that it didn’t matter what we did the game prior or the seasons prior. We focused on the task at hand. That’s the same mentality, the same environment that Pete Carroll and John Schneider had developed here. It doesn’t matter what we have done in the past. It’s what we’re setting out to accomplish now and forward. I really don’t know if it’s different other places because this is all I’ve known.”
On if the rookie tender was apart of this deal or is it a new year three year deal: “It’s a two year extension. I’ve been on record saying that regardless of what happens with this situation I was going to play out the tender. So yes I am on the tender, but then we’re extending two more years. It’s wonderful blessing to not only be here for this year, but for two more extended years.”
On if John Schneider had laid it out on that this is how it was going to work for him: “He laid out the order of things. He said that he wanted to Earl Thomas done because Earl has been here the longest, then Richard Sherman, and then myself. He’s been forthright with all of that, and honest. It was kind of surprising then when he said it, I didn’t believe it to be honest with you, but here it is and it actually happened the way he said it would happen.”
On what kind of benefit can that be with them being open on that end of things: “I think it just builds a trustworthy relationship between us all. You’re not afraid to go to those guys and tell them what issues you may have with anything. Or you might just have a normal conversation with them about family or friends. It builds an environment here where everybody wants to play for each other. We talk about competing in our locker room and in this organization, but those guys do it too. Pete Carroll is competing to be the best head coach that he can be. John Schneider is competing to be the best General Manager that he can be, so when it comes down to it we’re all competing to be successful with this organization. So being able to have that relationship with those guys shows us that not only are the players all in, but everybody in this organization is all in from the top down.”
On if there was any temptation for him to test the market: “Of course, but ultimately it comes back to what you value as a human being, as a person. Obviously I’m very excited to have a little extra money in my pocket, that’s huge, but I put a lot of emphasis and value on being in an organization that I love. Being next to one of my teammates that I love, that’s my family, and being in this situation looking at that, I value that more so than the opportunity to go to unrestricted free agency. Like I said it all comes back down to what you value. In this game, your value is determined on the amount of money that they give you, but necessarily for me, the value that I wanted to get out of it, that varied. It was necessarily just the money. It was the fact that I was able to stay here with an organization that I love, and teammates that I love.”