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What does Justin Jefferson megadeal mean for DK Metcalf, Seahawks?

A lot of high end wide receivers have gotten new contracts this offseason and the market was just reset by the best in the business – Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings. He has agreed to a new deal worth $140 million over the next four years, which includes $110 million guaranteed. That rightfully makes him the highest paid non-quarterback in the NFL right now.

Jefferson’s massive new contract is a significant development for any quality receiver who will be up for a new deal over the next couple of years – and that includes DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks. Metcalf signed a three-year, $72 million extension two years ago. While he’s under contract for 2025 with a cap hit of roughly $29.5 million, odds are the team and Metcalf will begin negotiations on a new deal next offseason.

Metcalf won’t be able to command the $35 million a year average that Jefferson is getting, but factoring inflation fans should expect his next contract to be in the $30 million annually range – similar to recent deals for Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyreek Hill. Metcalf is an exceptional athlete and competitor, but it would be foolish not to at least pause and consider whether DK Metcalf is worth that kind of money.

Since he was drafted Metcalf has reliably posted at least 900 yards and six touchdowns a season, reaching as high as 1,300 yards and 12 scores. That’s very strong production, but one can’t escape the feeling that Metcalf still hasn’t hit his ceiling yet given his remarkable physical abilities. This passing chart from the 2023 season illustrates some of the issues. It shows Metcalf struggled against man coverage and had a very low EPA on deep throws.

For one thing, Metcalf has to boost that 59% catch rate – which is also what ESPN is projecting for him this coming season. With his size and his vertical leaping ability Metcalf should be beating out the vast majority of cornerbacks for those deep jump balls – but he just hasn’t done it consistently as of yet in his career.

If Metcalf can break through in 2024 and finally post some real top-10 wide receiver kind of numbers like we know he can, he’ll be well worth that kind of cash. Until then it’s up for debate.

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Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire