Pete Carroll Discusses DK Metcalf's Mentality amid Seahawks Contract, Trade RumorsApril 22, 2022
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll praised wide receiver DK Metcalf for his "mentality" after showing up to voluntary offseason workouts without a contract extension in place.
Metcalf's future with the organization has come into question as he prepares to enter the final season of his rookie contract, but he still arrived to take part in meetings and observe practice while continuing his rehabilitation from foot surgery.
Carroll told reporters the sides haven't discussed specific details about a new deal for the receiver, but he was happy to see him for the offseason sessions:
"I know he's really excited about being back. He's still rehabbing from surgery, but he's involved with everything we're doing. He's really tuned in. I'm really happy to see the way he's returned to us—there's a lot of stuff in the future coming up and all of that. He seems to be very focused on what's going on right now and being in position to help other guys as we get started. So he's shown a really good mentality about the return."
Metcalf is one of the NFL's most dangerous receivers. He's caught 29 touchdowns in 49 career games, and he's coming off a 2021 season in which he recorded 75 catches for 967 yards and 12 scores. He earned a strong 80.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
The reason it's uncertain whether he remains in Seattle isn't his talent, but rather the period of transition the franchise entered by trading quarterback Russell Wilson and releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Their departures suggest the Seahawks may be heading toward a multiyear rebuild, and given those circumstances, it's fair to wonder whether the team would want to give Metcalf a lucrative long-term extension when they may not be title contenders for a while.
In March, Metcalf said on the KG Certified podcast (h/t TMZ Sports) he viewed those two high-profile exits as his chance to take on a new role.
"It's my time in Seattle, now. That's the way I look at it," he said.
Carroll agreed with that sentiment and explained the 24-year-old Ole Miss product is already taking steps to fill the leadership void:
"There's no question he feels that. He senses the opportunity. And as he returns, in a situation where it's not ideal because he's not able to do all of the workouts and stuff right now, he's engaged in everything he can be. He's really given himself to the process, because he knows his teammates are looking to him, and he can sense the role that he's in that's upcoming. So it's going to be a really great process to watch him emerge and become a bigger factor, in particular for the younger guys that come in, as leadership always is. But he's ready to assume that role more so, and he's going do a really good job with it. We really need him."
So all signs, at least for now, point toward Metcalf staying with the Seahawks for the time being. Even if the sides aren't able to reach an agreement on an extension this year, the front office could use the franchise tag to keep him in 2023.
The biggest question in the short term is who will be throwing him the ball this season. The Hawks have Geno Smith, Drew Lock and Jacob Eason under contract, but it wouldn't be a surprise if they added another QB or two via the draft, trade or free agency.
Having a true No. 1 target like Metcalf available will make life easier on whomever wins Seattle's starting quarterback job for 2022.