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Seahawks Move On From Baldwin, Open Door To Metcalf
The Seahawks parted ways with a pair of franchise icons who helped bring a Lombardi Trophy, two NFC championships and multiple playoff berths to Seattle, terminating the contracts of receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.

The move was an expected one in the case of Chancellor, who spent all of the 2018 season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list because of a neck injury sustained in 2017.

Baldwin, who joined the team as an undrafted rookie in 2011 and went on to become one of the best receivers in franchise history, battled numerous injuries throughout the 2018 season, and had multiple surgeries this offseason.

“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” general manager John Schneider said. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community.

"These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”

Baldwin didn’t just make the roster as an undrafted rookie in 2011, he went on to lead the Seahawks in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns that year. Over the course of eight seasons, Baldwin set the franchise record for touchdown catches in a season with 14 in 2015, and matched the team record for receptions in a season with 94 in 2016. A two-time Pro-Bowler, Baldwin’s 49 career receiving touchdowns are second only to Hall of Famer Steve Largent in franchise history, and his 493 catches and receiving 6,563 yards rank third behind Largent and Brian Blades.

Today's announcement comes after ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported during April's NFL Draft that Baldwin might be unable to play again because of the cumulative effect of multiple injuries. This offseason alone, Baldwin has undergone surgery on his knee, groin and a shoulder.

It was believed that Baldwin would like to continue playing, but it now appears the end of his career has arrived.

"My understanding is that this is likely the end of the road for Baldwin just based on his health," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted. "One of the coolest stories of the last decade."

Moving forward for Seattle, it's worth noting the team used the final pick of the second round of the NFL draft, the 64th overall selection, on Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.

Schneider said Baldwin's status wasn't a major factor in the team's decision to draft Metcalf. "At that point with D.K., that didn't really weigh in," Schneider said.

Still, it's a serious opportunity for Metcalf, who now has a clearer path to a starting assignment opposite Tyler Lockett. Even if the Seahawks continue to be one of the run-heaviest offenses in the NFL, Russell Wilson's ability to throw the deep ball plays right into Metcalf's strengths.

Meanwhile, Metcalf impressed during the team's initial rookie minicamp.

According to NBC Sports Northwest's Aaron Fentress, "(Metcalf's) explosion is real. He had defensive backs backing up before the snap as to not get beaten deep and Metcalf would still run past them. And the side of shorter cornerbacks running after Metcalf is something to behold. No way he doesn't win a lot of 50/50 balls."

Indeed, legendary former Seattle left tackle Walter Jones is sold on the 6-3, athletic marvel after watching those initial workouts. Jones, a Hall of Famer who spent 12 seasons with Seattle that included nine trips to the Pro Bowl, took to Twitter to declare that Metcalf could be the steal of the draft.

"I will say this about [Metcalf]," Jones wrote, "I’ve seen talent in my lifetime. If I this kid realizes his potential, he will be the steal of the draft. Mark my words."

The operative words in Jones' tweet are "if" and potential.

There is no denying that Metcalf can run, is athletic and could become a matchup nightmare. But none of that means he will live up to his potential. That's something we'll all watch play out -- or not -- in coming weeks.