Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith isn’t holding back on his thoughts regarding his NFL future following the team’s elimination from the playoffs.
After the Seahawks were eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers, 41-23, in their wild card playoff opener on Saturday, January 14, Smith made no secret about the fact that he wants to end his career in Seattle. The 32-year-old quarterback — who will be a free agent this offseason — made his intentions very clear in the postgame presser.
“I want to finish my career in Seattle,” Smith told reporters following the Seahawks’ playoff loss. “I want to be here. The town, the city, the team, coach [Pete] Carroll, the organization, they all embraced me. I was a guy who probably could’ve been out of the league. They embraced me. And I want to repay them for that.”
Geno Smith Led Seahawks’ Surprising Playoff Appearance
Seattle emerged as arguably the most surprising team of the NFL season, clinching a playoff berth just months after trading nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Seahawks instead became a playoff contender behind the elite-level play of Smith.
The 32-year-old not only led the league in completion percentage, he also broke the franchise single-season record in that category along with passing yards. To top it all off, Smith clinched his first Pro Bowl berth after not serving as a starter in the league since the 2014 season with the New York Jets.
In his first career playoff start, Smith had a strong outing. He actually led the Seahawks to a 17-16 halftime lead over the heavily favored 49ers. However, things started falling apart once Smith squandered a promising third quarter drive with a fumble in the red zone with Seattle trailing 23-17.
Smith finished the game with 253 yards passing and two touchdowns. Prior to his fumble, Smith actually started the game 14-of-16 for 162 yards passing, one touchdown and no interceptions. Following his fumble, Smith went 11-for-19 for 91 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Pete Caroll on Geno Smith: ‘The Real Deal’
Head coach Pete Carroll — who gave Smith the green light when he named him the starting quarterback before the season — stressed that he’s the “real deal” following the game.
“He’s for real,” Caroll said. “Geno’s the real deal. He can do all of the things that a terrific quarterback does. His movement was probably more of a surprise than anything, that he was so efficient with his movement. I mean he could always throw it. But his ability to stay poised and calm throughout the year. With all the hype and the buildup, it could’ve gone south five different times, and he didn’t. He never wavered. His leadership really stood out. His voice in the locker room, his voice with our players. He said the right stuff all year. Right up ’til today.
When asked if Smith would be back with the Seahawks next season, Carroll said that he hopes so.
There’s little doubt that Smith will be one of the most coveted free agent quarterbacks in the league entering the offseason. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported prior to the game that the Seahawks are expected to bring Smith back, whether that’s on the franchise tag or a longer-term contract.
Following a surprising postseason appearance, it’s fair to expect Smith to be the Seahawks’ quarterback once again entering the 2023 season.