Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith understands this is a business.
The 32-year-old veteran is on the verge of entering free agency after emerging as the most surprising quarterback of the season. The journeyman quarterback capped off his 2022 season by not only clinching a playoff berth, but leading a team that was expected to be one of the league’s worst into the playoffs.
While the Seahawks will obviously make an attempt at re-signing Smith, there are no guarantees he’ll be back. The veteran quarterback addressed the topic shortly after Seattle defeated the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in the regular season finale.
“…..I’m focused on foootball right now. But the thing is, it’s a business,” said Smith. “Football is a business. A lot of people have a lot of decisions to make, and that’s where I’ll leave it at. I feel great about where I stand with this organization and my teammates and everybody else, but it’s always a business first. So I look at it like that. I understand that, and I’ve got to handle my business as well.”
Smith’s Projected Value Exceeds $39 Million Per Season
Smith ended his 2022 season with passing totals of 30 touchdowns versus 11 interceptions on a 69.8 percent completion rate and a 100.9 passer rating. His number of touchdowns ranked fourth in the league, the completion rate paced all quarterbacks, while his passer rating ranked fifth.
According to Spotrac, Smith’s market value is $39.3 million per season. Spotrac also projects Smith to sign a two-year deal worth a total of nearly $79 million. That would make him the ninth-highest paid quarterback in the league.
The Seahawks have a number of options when it comes to re-signing Smith, including giving him a long-term contract, signing him to a short-term deal — like the two years proposed by Spotrac — or slapping him with the franchise tag. The projected franchise tag value is $32.4 million for quarterbacks entering 2023.
We’ll see what Smith’s value is when he enters free agency, but it would be surprising if the Seahawks aren’t able to come to some sort of an agreement to bring back their new franchise quarterback.
CBS Sports Values Smith at $29 Million Per Season
While Spotrac projects Smith’s value to be nearly $40 million per year after his 2022 performance, others believe he’ll sign for less. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports projects Smith to sign a deal worth $58 million across two seasons. That type of contract would earn Smith $29 million per year.
“The former Jets flop and longtime backup was surprisingly far more efficient and explosive than his star predecessor, Russell Wilson, in 2022,” says Benjamin. “Pressured to deliver down the stretch for a team with a porous defense, his forced throws have increased, rendering him more good than great. He’s also 32 with only one full season of passable production under his belt. Still, for Seattle, which may well prioritize defensive reinforcements and has now witnessed him grow in the system for four years, he’s a logical short-term investment.”
The Seahawks will possess two first-round draft picks in this upcoming draft, thanks to their trade with the Denver Broncos involving Russell Wilson. That means Seattle will feature their own pick in addition to the No. 5 overall selection from the Broncos.
While the Seahawks could still very well draft a quarterback in the first round, expect Seattle to sign Smith to a short-term deal (two years) while they groom a young quarterback from the 2023 NFL draft.