Seahawks Urged to Explore Trade for $150 Million QB in 2023

Pete Carroll

Getty Head coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks are a potential destination for one of the star quarterbacks in the NFL.

A little more than halfway through the 2022 season, the Seattle Seahawks appear to be winners of the Russell Wilson trade. In addition to the “king’s ransom” compensation received in the deal, Geno Smith has stepped in behind center and posted the best season of his career.

But will Smith definitely be Seattle’s starting quarterback next year? CBS Sports writer Cody Benjamin doesn’t necessarily say yes.

Benjamin named the Seahawks as one of 11 teams who should be suitors for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers if he’s made available in the trade market this offseason. Benjamin ranked Seattle No. 3 among the 11 potential destinations.

Reasons Rodgers-Seahawks Trade Could Happen

The CBS Sports writer admitted that Smith is having a great season but don’t count him among those who expect Smith to continue playing at a high level. Benjamin also pointed to the age of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, and the Packers connection for Seattle general manager John Schneider as reasons Rodgers could land with the Seahawks.

“Geno Smith is one of this year’s best stories, but at 32, approaching free agency, he’ll be a risky bet considering 2022 is his only productive season as a starter,” Benjamin wrote. “Seattle wouldn’t necessarily want to dump one aging QB (Russell Wilson) just to add another a year later, but Pete Carroll, 71, is probably interested in contending sooner rather than later. He’s got other pieces — Kenneth Walker III, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett — to help. He’s got loads of cap space ($30.6M) to use, and even more draft picks from the Russ deal.

“And GM John Schneider has a big Packers connection; he was the top aide to Ted Thompson when Green Bay drafted Rodgers, and he was the director of football operations when A-Rod took over for Brett Favre and won his lone Super Bowl.”

Schneider worked in the Packers organization from 2002-09 under Thompson. But Thompson retired a year ago, and Brian Gutekunst has assumed the role of general manager in Green Bay.

Gutekunst has been in the Packers organization since 1998, but it’s unclear if that actually gives the Seahawks an advantage in negotiations if they engaged in them with the Packers over Rodgers.

Carroll’s age is another interesting factor in the Rogers-to-Seahawks rumors, but like Schneider’s prior working relationship with Green Bay, it doesn’t guarantee anything. In 2023, Carroll will only be a year older than he was this past summer when he was content to enter the season with Smith and Drew Lock as his quarterbacks.

TV Personality Colin Cowherd Identifies Seahawks as Only Fit for Rodgers

Fox Sports personality Colin Cowherd was the first to ignite the Rodgers-to-Seattle rumors on November 18.

Cowherd also mentioned Carroll’s age but focused much more on the draft capital and cap space the Seahawks have next year as reasons they could trade for Rodgers.

“What is a team that can handle his [Rodger’s] cap hit,” asked Cowherd. “They just nailed a draft, and they have a ton of draft picks next year. The Seattle Seahawks literally don’t have to pay their tackles or Kenneth Walker for four more years. The Seahawks don’t have to pay their top corner for four more years or their edge rusher. If Seattle has a good draft, they can afford Aaron Rodgers’ cap hit.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on November 13 that the Seahawks expect to negotiate a contract extension with Smith after the season. But based on projections for Smith’s potential new deal, it could actually be a lower cap hit to have Rodgers behind center.

Rodgers will carry a $31.6 million cap hit next season while projections have Smith making an average of $33 million per season over the next three years.

The Seahawks have been up against the salary cap for a long time, but entering next year, Spotrac projects Seattle to have the fifth-most salary cap space with about $46.2 million to spend. They can afford a $30 million-plus signal caller next season.

It’s important to note, though, that Rodgers has three more years remaining on his contract beyond 2023, and his cap hit will only go up. In 2025, Rodgers is set to be a $59.3 million cap hit.

That’s not ideal for any team interested in trading for Rodgers.

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