After months of competition and speculation, the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll have finally named a starting quarterback for the start of the 2022 season between Drew Lock and Geno Smith.
Carroll told reporters after the preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys that Smith would be starting under center in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. The Seahawks tweeted Carroll’s message about the competition that night.
“Geno is going to start,” Carroll said. “He’s earned it. He’s won the job. With the time frames that got messed up for Drew, Drew just ran out of time in making his bid for it. I’m clear about that, so just wanted to let you know so everybody knows and you don’t have to ask about it anymore.”
The QB competition had been chaotic all preseason. After Smith was named the starter for the preseason opener against Pittsburgh, Lock was expected to start the following week to get some reps with the first-team offense. However, the competition took an unexpected turn almost immediately after Lock was named the starter against Chicago when he tested positive for COVID-19.
Geno Smith’s Journey to Becoming QB1 Again
It has been years since Smith was a preferred starting quarterback in the NFL, but after seasons of bouncing around the league as a backup, the 31-year-old veteran is finally a starter once again.
Smith was an exciting QB prospect after an electric career at West Virginia. He finished his time in Morgantown with 11,662 yards, 98 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions with a 67.4 completion percentage. With all of that production and playmaking, Smith was selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Jets quarterback’s rookie season wasn’t perfect. Smith started all 16 games, but the team went 8-8 with him as a starter while he completed just 55.8 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He only threw 13 touchdowns the following season, with the Jets going just 3-10 with him as the starter.
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Smith was demoted to a backup in his final two seasons with the Jets before signing with the New York Giants in 2017. He was the backup for the Los Angeles Chargers the following season, then joined the Seahawks in 2019 to play behind Russell Wilson.
Although he rarely played in Seattle, Smith finally got a chance to start for an injured Wilson last season. In four games played, Smith posted an impressive 103.0 passer rating with five touchdowns and just one interception.
After shining in limited action last season, and having been with the team since 2019, Smith has earned the right to start again under center for the Seahawks, at least for the start of the 2022 season.
Who Will Be Seattle’s Quarterback in 2023?
Regardless of who ends up finishing the season at quarterback between Lock and Smith, it’s highly unlikely that the Seahawks roll into the 2023 season without a new long-term option at the position.
Next year’s quarterback class is littered with talent, from reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, the talented young QB with star potential in C.J. Stroud, and even the unproven commodity with terrific arm strength in Anthony Richardson.
If the Seahawks want a top-tier quarterback at the top of next year’s draft, they’ll likely have to bottom out and have a dreadful season to snag a top pick. However, if they end up being mediocre, they have draft capital that they acquired via the Russell Wilson trade from the Denver Broncos that could give them the ammunition that they need in order to trade up.
In the event that general manager John Schneider doesn’t want to trade up, and the Seahawks don’t tank to earn a top-five pick, then they’ll need to look at some of the more developmental QB prospects that could emerge by the end of the college football season.
The Seahawks could also go after a veteran free agent, or trade for a star quarterback, but if the team wants a long-term franchise QB to build around, the draft is probably the best place to look for a new QB.