Seattle's glaring need for a wide receiver just became even more magnified.
Doug Baldwin, who has already undergone knee and shoulder surgeries this offseason following an injury-riddled year, will also undergo hernia surgery in April, as confirmed by coach Pete Carroll while at the league meetings in Phoenix, Ariz.
Carroll told reporters there that he didn't know when Baldwin would return to the field but appeared confident that the team's stalwart veteran would make it back.
"In one respect there's never been anybody that's tougher and more able to come back from whatever challenges have been," Carroll said. "He's been extraordinarily adept at figuring out how to return from and understand the circumstances of being banged up. So if he could, he will. If he could do it, he will. I have no doubt in that. But it's a been a challenging offseason for him. He's had a lot of stuff he's been working on. This latest one is going to take some time again. Whatever he has to do we're going to follow and support and believe in it. If anybody can do it he can get it done."
Seattle has passed on signing a free agent receiver, so far. There still remains some interesting names out there, such as former Seahawk, Jermaine Kearse, as well as Kelvin Benjamin, Demaryius Thomas and Rishard Matthews.
Kearse, 29, has reportedly said that he would love to return to Seattle where he started on two Super Bowl teams before being traded in 2017 to the New York Jets, along with a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, for defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who played just one year in Seattle before signing with Minnesota last year.
“Yeah. Look, I would love to play back in Seattle,” Kearse said. “Obviously, things have to work out on its own and things have to be right.
Kearse would seem to be a perfect fit and shouldn't cost too much cash to acquire him.
Thomas, 31, would be the best choice on the board if not for him tearing his Achilles in December with Houston and being charged with vehicular assault in February. So, maybe that's a hard and fast no on Thomas.
Matthews had a rough 2018, catching just three passes in three games with the Titans before requesting and receiving his release. He landed with the New York Jets a few weeks later and that didn't go well, either. But he did play quite well in 2017 and 2018 with the Titans, amassing a combined 1,740 yard and 13 touchdowns.
Seattle has the 21st pick in the upcoming draft and there are several intriguing receivers that could be available there. Listed as maybe going off the board in that area on several mock drafts are Hakeem Bulter (Iowa State), A.J. Brown (Ole Miss), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Stanford), D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss), Parris Campbell (Ohio State) and N'Keal Harry (Arizona State).
Because of past maneuvering, Seattle has just four picks in the draft coming in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds. Seattle general manager John Schneider made it clear at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that it would be unlikely that Seattle would draft just four players. That means trades are coming.
Seattle could easily trade out of the first round and acquire additional picks with one going toward a wide receiver in maybe the second round.
Seattle has solid depth at receiver behind Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. David Moore progressed nicely in his second season last year and Jaron Brown caught five touchdown passes. But even with Baldwin healthy, the Seahawks must consider adding a young receiver through the draft. With Baldwin ailing, the Seahawks really have no choice.
Whatever the route to be taken, Seattle must address this area regardless of how confident Carroll is that Baldwin has the heart and work ethic to return from his series of offseason surgeries. Because, while he might indeed return, it might only be a matter of time before he goes down again.