Doug Baldwin will remain with the Seahawks.
As expected, today’s deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets came and went without Baldwin signing. That means that although he is a free agent, the Seahawks are now the only team he can sign with.
Restricted free agency is usually fairly quiet in the NFL. This year one restricted free agent switched teams when the Browns signed former Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. Another restricted free agent, Saints safety Rafael Bush, signed an offer sheet with the Falcons but didn’t change teams because the Saints matched the offer.
Baldwin was tendered at the second-round level, which means any team signing him to an offer sheet would have had to give up a second-round pick in next week’s draft if the Seahawks didn’t match. Baldwin is coming off a solid season (50 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns), but a second-round pick is a lot to give up, and it would have been a surprise if any team had made him an offer.
Although Baldwin may take his time about signing his restricted free agent tender because he’d prefer a long-term contract, it’s likely that he’ll end up playing the 2014 season on the $2.187 million salary that comes with the second-round tender. And then he’ll either do a new deal with the Seahawks or hit free agency next year.