The Seattle Seahawks are planning to make Geno Smith the team’s quarterback beyond this season, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Prior to Seattle’s Week 10 loss to Tampa Bay, the league insider reported that the Seahawks plan to make Smith a long-term contract offer after the season with the goal of keeping the veteran as the QB1 for the foreseeable future.
“My understanding is Geno Smith has in fact done enough to convince Seattle that he should be their starting quarterback in the 2023 season,” Rapoport detailed on November 13, 2022. “For Geno Smith it has been a series of one-year deals in Seattle. He’s been the backup to Russell Wilson for years and years. Now, the Seahawks are expected to make a long-term contract extension offer to him. Not during the season likely, but after the season to make sure that he is there for the foreseeable future.”
Some have wondered if Seattle will get aggressive and attempt to sign Smith to an extension sooner rather then later, but Rapoport reported that the eventual offer is unlikely to come during the season. Smith will be free agent this upcoming offseason and is headed for a sizable raise from his current $3.5 million base salary. The Seahawks also face a decision on Drew Lock’s future as the team’s backup quarterback will be a free agent as well.
Smith Could Command Interest From Other Teams in Free Agency
The sample size continues to grow on Smith’s stellar play making it more than just a hot streak, but it will be interesting to see if how the quarterback finishes the season will impact Seattle’s decision. The early indications are that Smith will be the team’s starting quarterback again in 2023. Seattle will need Smith to make the decision mutual as the two sides attempt to come to an offseason agreement.
It is important to note that Smith is likely to have options in free agency with interest from quarterback-needy teams. The Seahawks will need Smith to agree to their eventual offer and after several years of signing one-year contracts, the veteran will likely attempt to leverage the situation into landing a new lucrative deal.
There Are a Wide Range of Contract Projections for Smith
There have been a wide range of contract projections for Smith’s next deal given his unique career trajectory. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicted that Smith will likely land something similar to Case Keenum’s two-year, $36 million contract he signed with the Broncos in 2018.
“Assuming Smith keeps this up, he’s about to get a massive raise from the $3.5 million deal he inked with Seattle before the season,” Barnwell detailed on November 10. “What will that contract look like? The player who comes to mind is Case Keenum, who was a career backup before riding a brilliant season with the Vikings in 2017 into free agency at age 30. Keenum’s two-year, $36 million deal with the Broncos would translate to something like a two-year, $45 million pact after accounting for cap inflation. If the 32-year-old Smith raises his game even further, the Seahawks might have to look at the non-exclusive franchise tag of $31.5 million.”