By John Boyle
Doug Baldwin is now a wealthy man, but he still celebrates with Martinelli’s sparkling cider, which he brought a bottle of onto the stage when him to discuss his new three-year contract with the Seahawks.
Baldwin, who’s deal three-year deal is worth $13 million with $8.5 guaranteed, started things off by thanking God, then he jokingly thanked Seahawks owner Paul Allen for “cutting the check.”
Like teammates Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, who also earned new contracts this offseason, Baldwin said getting paid won’t change the way he plays the game.
“Nothing changes for me,” he said. “I signed my name to a piece of paper, that piece of paper does nothing for me. Obviously it gives me a little more security, but that’s not why I play the game of football. I play because I love the game of football, because I put everything into it. That’s what I’m passionate about. There were 28 (receivers) taken above me in 2011. I was not drafted. None of that changes, so every time I step out on that field, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, they’re going to pay because 28 guys went ahead of me in the 2011 draft. That doesn’t go only for the “Legion of Boom,” but for any defensive back who steps up to the line of scrimmage to try to cover me. That’s what I’m passionate about.
Sherman, Baldwin’s teammate dating back to their days at Stanford, was sitting in the auditorium, and feigned offense to Baldwin’s plans for the “Legion of Boom.”
When it was pointed out that the man nicknamed “Angry Doug Baldwin” was still angry despite getting paid, Baldwin said, “I’m not angry, I’m passionate about what I do.”
On signing a three-year deal and not something longer, Baldwin admitted that it gives him the chance to approach free agency while still in his prime, saying, “The way that it worked out, it was the best for both sides. I get the security, but also, when I come up again, I’ll be young, I’ll be 28 years old and have another opportunity to talk to these guys about something more.”
For more of what Baldwin said, you can watch video of the entire press conference at Seahawks.com.
Seahawks GM John Schneider opened the press conference spending roughly four minutes raving about Baldwin.
“When you talk about passion, confidence, character, this is the epitome of that right here,” Schneider said. “He was named our Seahawk man of the year in the community, so everybody knows what type of person he is in terms of sharing his knowledge and doing whatever he can for the community and really just trying to reach out. You’ve got to love the work ethic, the passion that he plays with, the confidence. I don’t necessarily get to see the angry Doug all the time that everyone talks about, except after games once in a while if he didn’t get enough balls or something like that. Doug is really the type of guy who represents what our organization is all about. The culture that Coach Carroll and I are trying to establish here, the football culture, which is that you play with a chip on your shoulder, you show up every single day, you’re reliable, you’re a smart guy, you’re incredibly passionate about what you do, you act like a pro and you act like champion every single day, and that’s what this individual does.”
Schneider went on to talk about the clutch catches Baldwin has made, noting in particular the sideline catches he made in wins at Houston and Carolina.
“This is a very clutch performer from a football standpoint,” Schneider said. “… The guy encompasses what a receiver’s supposed to do. The way he runs routes, the way he’s able to run after the catch. It’s very important to know that he had his two biggest games this last year against two of the best defenses in the league—the Carolina Panthers and in the NFC Championship game versus the 49ers.
“I just wanted to let everybody know how special this guy is. He’s a core part of what he’s doing here, and we’re glad he’s going to be with us through the 2016 season.”
Pete Carroll added: “He’s just the epitome of a great competitor and has always battle in everything we’ve done, to the point that we call him ‘Angry Doug.’ He’s just got a way about him that stands out.”
Also worth noting…
—Baldwin played outside, not in the slot, a lot during the end of the season because of Sidney Rice’s injury, and will see more time there again this year, with Carroll said he’ll start out in the split end position.
—Baldwin said the two reasons he came to Seattle as an undrafted rookie were the sincerity of John Schneider and Pete Carroll—Schneider sent him a hand-written note—and the presence of Richard Sherman, who Seattle took in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.
—Baldwin also threw his hat in the ring for the vacant punt return job, though he said he’s hesitant to do so because he likes his current job on punt returns of blocking the opposing team’s gunners.
—Baldwin said he and the Seahawks agreed to terms on the deal last night, then finalized things this morning. He noted that Schneider has been up front with him about the team’s desire to lock up Earl Thomas first, then Richard Sherman before getting to his deal. He also said he welcomed the idea of the Seahawks drafting two receivers to add competition to the group.