The Seattle Seahawks are adding another quarterback to the room.
As reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on April 14, the Seahawks are re-signing Geno Smith, who spent the past three seasons as a backup, getting three starts for an injured Russell Wilson in 2021.
“The Seahawks are signing QB Geno Smith to a 1-year deal worth $7M, source said,” Rapoport tweeted. “A big raise for Smith, who has a chance to push for starter reps and more this offseason.”
Smith Expected to Enter Offseason as Starting QB
Without incentives, Smith’s deal is for one year and $3.5 million, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.
“The contract has a base value of $3.5 million, according to a league source, with incentives that could take it to as much as $7 million, though full details have yet to be revealed,” Condotta said. “The move isn’t expected to be made official until Smith signs the contract early next week, when players return for the start of the team’s official offseason workout program.”
The Seahawks now have three quarterbacks on their roster, including recent acquisition Drew Lock and third-year quarterback Jacob Eason.
Smith had earned essentially a veteran’s minimum salary backing up Wilson, earning $1.21 million last season. The pay raise indicates Smith’s opportunity to win the starting job. Head coach Pete Carroll said during the league meetings last month that Smith would enter the offseason program atop Seattle’s depth chart, as noted by Condotta.
“He’s kind of the leader because he’s been with us for so many years,” Carroll told reporters on March 29. “He knows what’s going on.”
The signing would seem to make sense considering that 25-year-old Lock, who had a 41.2 quarterback rating during his one year as starter for the Denver Broncos, is entering his first year with the Seahawks and Eason, 24, has just five career pass attempts to his name. Smith also has three years of familiarity with the Seahawks’ offense.
In his three starts in 2021, Smith led Seattle to a 1-2 record. However, Smith threw five touchdowns against one interception for a 103 quarterback rating. Each loss was by three points to the New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Although Smith, 31, may not be an ideal starting quarterback for an NFL team, he has a plethora of experience. He previously was the New York Jets‘ starting quarterback during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, when he went 12-18.
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Seahawks Plan to Add Fourth QB
Despite rostering three quarterbacks, Seattle is still aiming to add a fourth, whether by draft, free agency or via trade.
Carroll stated the plan is for the Seahawks to end up with four quarterbacks.
“We are totally in the mentality that the fourth guy may be important to us for the long haul,” Carroll said at the league meetings. “So we are definitely still in the quarterback business.”
The Seahawks are rumored as a possible favorite to add disgruntled Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and have hosted 2022 NFL draft prospect Desmond Ridder.