Seahawks’ Pete Carroll Breaks Silence on QB Geno Smith’s Future

Pete Carroll

Getty After the playoff loss, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll revealed whether he wants quarterback Geno Smith back next season.

Geno Smith’s magical season with the Seattle Seahawks ended with a 41-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on January 14. The next question is whether Smith’s tenure in Seattle is also finished.

Smith is a pending free agent this offseason. With his career year of 4,282 passing yards and 30 touchdowns with a 69.8% completion percentage, which led the league, Smith is due for a major pay raise.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made it clear in his postgame press conference on January 14 that he wants Smith’s raise to come from the Seahawks.

“I hope so,” Carroll told the media when asked if he Smith will be Seattle’s quarterback next season. “I hope so.”

Ian Rapoport Reported Smith Will Return to Seattle

What Carroll said after the playoff loss gelled with a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport from early on January 14.

“My understanding is the team wants that [feel-good story] to continue,” Rapoport said on “NFL GameDay Morning” hours before kickoff of the Seahawks-49ers playoff matchup. “I’m told Geno Smith will be back with Seattle in 2023. He is genuine. He is well-liked. He has played great. He’s also a free agent, so they’re going to try to work on a new deal.”

If the Seahawks can get Smith signed to a long-term extension, they could use the franchise tag to retain the veteran signal caller for at least 2023.

Smith completed 25 of 35 passes for 253 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the loss to the 49ers. He also gained 28 yards on the ground.

Carroll praised Smith for several reasons on January 14, including his underrated running ability. The head coach stressed Smith’s “unbelievably good” season and feel-good story during 2022. He also said Smith showed all season that he is “for real.”

Projecting Smith’s Next Contract

Speculation about Smith’s next deal began before Thanksgiving, and just about everybody and their mother has made a prediction.

Spotrac projected Smith’s market value to be about $78.7 million on a two-year deal. That would give the veteran signal caller an average annual salary of about $39.3 million per season.

That’s on the higher end of most of the predictions for Smith’s next deal. In November, ESPN’s Brady Henderson guessed that Smith would be worth about $33 million per season on his next deal.

The Seahawks began the year with a 6-3 record. Including the playoffs, Smith led Seattle to a 3-6 record down the stretch. Counting the postseason game, Smith threw 8 of his 12 interceptions this season in the final eight games.

Smith’s numbers in other categories dipped during the second half of the season as well. But they probably didn’t drop enough to change Henderson’s projection.

According to Spotrac, 11 quarterback possessed an average annual salary above $33 million in 2022. Some of those signal callers are clearly still a tier above Smith — Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen.

But Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford were the other quarterbacks making more than $33 million this season.

Of those eight signal callers (excluding Mahomes, Allen and Rodgers), only Cousins and Prescott led his team to the postseason in 2022 like Smith did.

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