All signs point to the price going up for Geno Smith prompting some to push the Seattle Seahawks to sign the quarterback to a new contract extension sooner rather than later. Smith signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract last offseason, a bargain deal indicative of a veteran who was entering a quarterback competition.
When Smith signed the contract in April, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Smith’s deal could be worth as much as $7 million with incentives. Smith’s value is rising less than six months after the veteran signed his contract when Drew Lock was considered the favorite to win the Seahawks QB1 gig.
The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar believes Smith is playing his way into a three-year, $95 million new contract. As Dugar points out, Smith can use the franchise tag as leverage to attempt to land a lucrative long-term deal. For this season, the franchise tag salary for quarterbacks was $29.7 million, a number that is likely to rise in 2023.
“So, I think you got to start there [the franchise tag amount], but you can’t go much higher than that, because it’s just one year of really good production,” Dugar explained during a November 1, 2022 episode of the “Seahawks Man 2 Man” podcast. “So, I would probably guess it just depends on how many years Geno wants to sign for, how much security he wants. But you’re probably not going to get a four-year deal at that point, because [the] sample size is too small. Ryan Tannehill got a four-year deal after that big 2019 season he had, but then again that was Ryan’s third contract, so he had already got paid. He was a first-round pick, he didn’t play that bad with the Dolphins.
“So, I think you probably look at three years for Geno, maybe two [years] if he wants to try to hit free agency again at age like 34. I think is was what he would be which makes sense for him, so I would say probably three years and $95 million. That’ll be my guess if he keeps playing like this. If there’s a big drop off then obviously, no you don’t pay it, but somebody is going to do that.”
Does Smith’s Play Prevent the Seahawks From Drafting a QB in 2023?
Smith is putting up stellar numbers through the first two months of the season. The Seahawks quarterback has passed for 2,199 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 73.1% of his passes during the first nine games.
There appears to be a wide range of possible outcomes for Smith’s next deal. With four picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL draft, the Seahawks must decide not only if they want to sign Smith to a long-term contract, but if they will also pass on selecting a quarterback early given their draft capital.
The Seahawks Are Likely Going to Have Competition to Sign Smith
Back in October, Seattle Sports’ Brock Huard predicted that Smith was in line for a two-year, $30 million contract, but the quarterback is likely playing his way into a more expensive deal. Part of the challenge for Seattle is Smith’s play is going to draw interest from other teams which could drive up the veteran’s salary. Dugar mentions the Steelers, Colts and Commanders as teams that could emerge as possible suitors for Smith this offseason.
“I think teams are going to be very desperate for someone of Geno’s services,” Dugar added. “Teams that are going to be bad, but not necessarily bad enough to pick high to get their guy. They’re going to be a team that convinced themselves that they’re a quarterback away. We always see those type of teams. Pittsburgh could feel that way.
“Who else could feel that way? The Commanders could feel that way. The Colts could feel that way. These are teams that are bad, but they’re not going to have like a top-five pick, probably.”