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Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett Does Not Want Traded

Potential Pittsburgh Steelers trade target Tyler Lockett does not want to be moved after restructuring his contract.



Pittsburgh Steelers Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a significant need at wide receiver, with three-fifths of the team’s room from 2023 moving on, including starters Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson II. 

The Steelers have done some bargain hunting, landing receivers Quez Watkins and Van Jefferson on one-year deals, but have not yet added a player that figures to be a starter this season, let alone two.

The club has been heavily scouting players from the 2024 NFL Draft at the position, but general manager Omar Khan and company have shown interest in more experienced options, as well. The Steelers had a meeting scheduled with free agent wide receiver Mike Williams before he signed with the New York Jets. They exchanged contract terms with Cincinnati Bengals free agent Tyler Boyd, and kicked the tires on a potential trade with the San Francisco 49ers for Brandon Aiyuk.

So clearly, they have a high aim when it comes to additions at the position.

But those talks have cooled. Williams is off the board. The Steelers and Boyd appear to be in a long-term standoff over terms, with one report saying the “ship has sailed” on a homecoming for the Clairton native and Pitt product. The 49ers have put their feet in the ground and said they’re not trading Aiyuk.

It’s clear the Steelers wanted to add a receiver before the draft, in addition to being interested in players in the draft. So with the draft just two weeks away and that pre-draft addition looking unlikely, what will they do instead?

Well, they can still add a player after the draft, but the available pool of talent won’t be expected to grow by much. There may be some players released or available for trade later in the offseason, but that’s a long wait and not a sure thing.

At the wide receiver position, one name came to mind with an obvious connection to the Steelers: Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett. Lockett has been with Seattle since 2015, meaning that he spent seven seasons playing with new Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson. Lockett has been a three-time All-Pro as a return man and has been one of the most consistently productive receivers in the league over the last six seasons. But Lockett does not want to be traded, he told Seattle media last week.

“Seattle is home,” Lockett said. “Obviously it’s a business and so you’ve got to kind of look and see what is good for them, you see what’s good for yourself, as well. And with everything that I had a chance to be able to do and become, it’s really cool that you hear that the staff wants you to be on the team, as well. [I] try not to get too much into the contract because I’m still kind of in a blessed situation. So everybody kind of talks about the contract or talks about the money or say it’s a pay cut or whatever it is, but it’s enough for us to still be here. It’s enough for them to still want me.’’

Lockett just restructured his deal with the Seahawks this offseason, which would make a pre-June 1 trade costly to Seattle. If they traded Lockett now, that would incur a $27.8 million dead cap hit and cost the Seahawks an additional $8.9 million in cap space on top of what is slated to cost.

But if they waited until after June 1, a Lockett trade would only have a $13.9 million dead cap hit this season, while saving Seattle’s cap in 2024 $5 million in room. Lockett would be a bargain to the Steelers, with just $4.67 million in guaranteed salary and $340,000 in roster bonuses.

Still, it certainly does not look like the Seahawks will be moving Lockett anytime soon, but Lcoektt could have made sense if there was some movement there.

The Steelers’ inactivity at the wide receiver position, despite showing repeated interest, has been puzzling.  It was reported last Wednesday by Jason La Canfora that the Steelers are still searching for a trade at wide receiver. Their interest in a player like Lockett, who would be traded later, makes sense. But if the bigger fish are coming, it seems someone like Brandon Aiyuk or Courtland Sutton makes sense.