After inking a new four-year extension with the Seahawks that could pay him as much as $14.5 million, Michael Dickson wasted no time commemorating the moment.
Dickson, who became one of the NFL’s highest paid punters, sat down on the couch with his girlfriend and ordered a celebratory feast.
"We had talked about it that morning like, 'Ah, let's get pizza tonight,'" Dickson said Tuesday following the Seahawks Organized Training Activities (OTAs). "Then I signed the deal, and I was looking forward to pizza all day, so I was like, 'We're getting pizza.'"
It was a well-earned raise for the Seahawks punter who was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection as a rookie with 48.2 yards per punt. Last season, he delivered a career-best 49.6 yards per kick with a league-leading 32 kicks downed inside the 2020.
Now, he’ll play a crucial role in Seattle’s special teams success through 2025. Dickson doesn't take that opportunity for granted.
"That was the dream," Dickson said about continuing his career with the Seahawks. "I look back on my pro day, worked out and (former special teams coordinator) Brian Schneider was there, and he really told me about the team...
Dickson credits his continued success and impressive 2020 campaign to switching up his routine following a 2019 season he felt needed improvement. He averaged 45.1 yards per punt and landed 34 punts inside the 20-yard line that season.
“I kind of changed my routine, how I go about the week was a little more mindful, got into meditating and got into journaling stuff down, and I was able to look at my practice sessions more objectively,” he said. “So sometimes I'll leave a practice session, thinking I punted pretty bad, and then I'll look over the film and go 'Oh wow, that was a lot better than I left the field,' which I didn't do my second year. I'd kind of just watch it and not write all the notes, not take all my stats and not compare them to the days before.
“So last year I really made sure I was super objective about everything, took all the emotion out of it, and it was that allowed me to really improve and stay consistent."
And his new routine paid off. Despite being snubbed of an All-Pro or Pro Bowl nod last season, Dickson’s punting average of 49.6 and net average of 44.4 were franchise records. He also earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice.
As the Seahawks take part in OTAs in preparation for the 2021 NFL season, Dickson is confident he can deliver at a high level once again, thanks in large part, to his new mindset.
"I really want to carry that into this year,” Dickson said. “I've been carrying it throughout the offseason, and it's really just become part of my lifestyle now, so I'm happy."