The 2023 NFL offseason is drawing closer by the day, so it’s time to evaluate depth charts and determine what path each team should take to build out their rosters for the future. One key player for the Seattle Seahawks is QB Drew Lock — we’ll review his contract and 2023 market value. Should Seattle re-sign him or let him walk in free agency?
Drew Lock’s Past Production
Lock was a highly-touted prospect during his time at the University of Missouri. In 2017 and 2018 combined, he threw for 7,462 yards, 72 touchdowns, and just 21 interceptions.
He caught the attention of numerous NFL scouts and was consistently in the first 15 picks of mock drafts leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft. Lock fell further than many people anticipated, though, and he was eventually selected at No. 42 overall by the Denver Broncos.
As a member of the Broncos, Lock started a total of 21 games for the team and accounted for 4,740 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and a shocking 20 interceptions before being traded to Seattle as a part of the Russell Wilson deal.
Despite his shaky performance as the Broncos’ QB, many analysts anticipated that Lock would be the starter for Seattle in 2022 in what was believed to be a rebuilding season.
Unfortunately for Lock, he never got the opportunity to take a snap during the regular season, with veteran counterpart Geno Smith experiencing a career resurgence and stringing together several wins for the Seahawks franchise.
This leaves Lock barreling towards free agency at the end of his rookie contract with little positive production to point to at this stage of his career. He’ll also be a full year removed from on-field action.
Drew Lock’s Contract and Market Value
Lock’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season. In 2019, he signed a four-year, $7 million rookie deal based on his placement in the NFL Draft. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023 at the age of 27.
Due to Lock’s lack of production and the fact that he wasn’t able to beat out Smith in a QB competition this offseason, gauging his market value is a difficult task. He’s unlikely to receive any sort of long-term contract from an NFL franchise and will likely need to sign as a second or third-string option on a depth chart.
The Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart
Seattle had an opening at QB this past offseason with the trade of Wilson to the Denver Broncos, which left Smith and Lock battling through training camp and the preseason to determine the starter.
We know now how it played out, as Smith has been one of the biggest surprises across the entire NFL this season, while Lock hasn’t taken a snap on offense. Smith is an unrestricted free agent himself in 2023, but it’s almost a guarantee that Seattle would look to re-sign him to a long-term deal.
This leaves Lock either looking to test the free agency waters to find out if anyone’s willing to give him a chance to compete for a starting job or returning on a smaller deal to be the backup to Smith again next season.
The wildcard factor in this puzzle is whether Seattle intends to bring in a rookie QB to develop behind Smith. If Seattle isn’t truly confident that Smith is someone they can build around for the next few years, they could look to bring in a young QB via the NFL Draft.
If that’s their intention, re-signing Lock won’t be on the table due to needing his roster spot for a young passer. Otherwise, it’ll come down to their salary cap situation and whether or not they can find a cheaper backup option in the free agent market.
When it’s all said and done, it’s highly likely that Lock is playing for another franchise in 2023.