RENTON, Wash. — Several months of contract negotiations between his agent and the Seattle Seahawks gave DK Metcalf much consternation, though the star receiver remained confident throughout that it would end in a deal.
“It was a stressful process,” Metcalf said Friday, “but glad it’s over now.”
That stress didn’t completely give way to joy until Metcalf took the stage in the auditorium at Seahawks headquarters, a full day after ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that the two sides had agreed. a three-year extension worth $72 million. Metcalf signed the deal on Friday morning, then spoke to reporters afterwards – getting emotional at times – as he was flanked by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
“It just hit me as I was sitting here,” Metcalf said. “I told my parents and I was just smiling on the phone. My mom started crying, my dad started crying but I was just smiling. Then when I sat here it just hit me like, it’s here. DK, it’s time for you to step up.”
Schneider thanked Metcalf for the patience and professionalism he showed during a negotiation process that the chief executive said began at the scouting combine in February and was repeatedly hit by mega deals. signed by other high-profile receivers this offseason.
Metcalf got a laugh when he alluded to a certain sense of the game he used in the negotiations. This was part of his response when asked if it was more stressful watching his counterparts cash out.
“No because… something was going to happen,” he said. “It was going to be here…as much as I bluffed John. Just so you know, I wanted to be here. I wanted to play here and I’m just glad we did something.”
Metcalf’s deal includes a $30 million signing bonus, a source told Schefter, which is the highest on record for a wide receiver. His new $24 million average ties Metcalf to the Buffalo Bills’ Stefon Diggs as the sixth-highest-paid receiver in the NFL and keeps him under contract in Seattle through the 2025 season.
“Just a big thank you to everyone who helped me get to this point in my life,” he said. “I still haven’t finished. That chip hasn’t gone anywhere.”
Carroll had just referenced the proverbial chip on the shoulder Metcalf developed after falling to the final second-round pick of the 2019 draft, six months after suffering a neck injury that ended his final season at Ole. Miss and threatened to end his football career.
Schneider recalled how determined Carroll was before this draft to land Metcalf. After the Seahawks picked safety Marquise Blair midway through the second round, Carroll walked out of the draft room to speak with Seattle’s newest player. It was then that Schneider made a deal with the New England Patriots to trade up to No. 64, where Seattle would take Metcalf. When Carroll sat back down, Schneider played him slowly before announcing the good news.
“He was like, ‘Are you kidding. DK Metcalf is going to be on our team?'” Schneider said. “It was so cool to be able to have that trade right there. Bam, we made the trade and then to be able to get to the 64th pick. I’ll never forget that. It was a really exciting time.”
Since then, Metcalf has had the most prolific start of any catcher in franchise history. His 3,170 receiving yards are the most by any Seahawk in his first three seasons, while his 29 touchdowns in that span are one shy of the club record.
Metcalf said it was hard not to attend last month’s mandatory minicamp – which he missed due to an unjustified absence – and to watch the first two practices of training camp during his brief “hold- in”. He is expected to participate in the Seahawks’ next practice on Saturday. He said there was no problem with his left foot, which he had surgically repaired after sustaining a fracture most of last season.
“To see him be so much more than just a football player is a great pleasure for me,” Carroll said. “Everyone talks about how he’s a great athlete, he’s a beast, he’s all that stuff. I don’t like being talked about. This guy, he’s a complete person and it has so much to offer.”
Metcalf wants to open restaurants in Mississippi that will promote healthier eating and tackle the state’s obesity problem.
“It really hasn’t struck me so far that I have the opportunity to help so many people at home and help my family,” he said. “And just thinking about when I broke my neck and was told I wasn’t going to be able to play football anymore. And now that that moment is coming, it’s just a blessing. … I thank everyone world because it took a village just for me to get here today.”
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