The Seattle Seahawks are well into their 2023 offseason, with Pete Carroll and John Schneider preparing for the NFL Combine, free agency and the draft. As the team goes through its standard procedures and fans and observers impatiently await, the million dollar question - or perhaps in this instance the one hundred million dollar question - is what the team will do at quarterback for the 2023 season.
Obviously, Geno Smith led the team to the playoffs in 2022 after the Seahawks unloaded Russell Wilson on the unsuspecting Denver Broncos, but with both Smith and his backup Drew Lock unsigned, the Hawks currently have exactly zero quarterbacks under contract for next season. As such, the debate among fans regarding whether to sign Smith to an extension, simply bring back Lock and let him emulate the success of Wilson and Smith before him or draft a quarterback of the future is well underway.
Weighing in on the topic Tuesday was ESPN college and NFL analyst Louis Riddick, who opined that the gap between Smith and Lock is not small.
.@LRiddickESPN on the possibility of the Seahawks going with Drew Lock over Geno Smith in order to bolster the rest of the Seahawks roster— Maura Dooley (@Maura_Dool) February 6, 2023
"I think the gulf between what Drew Lock could do and what Geno Smith did this year is Grand Canyon-esque."https://t.co/CkEJSureTd
For those who would like to listen to Riddick’s answer in full on the matter, it can be heard here.
Could the Seahawks win by moving on from Geno Smith, going with Drew Lock, and using the difference in salary to sign bigtime defensive help?@LRiddickESPN has an answer and it is very definitive!— Mike Salk, Seattle Sports Station (@TheMikeSalk) February 7, 2023
Whole interview here: https://t.co/WzmfunYNhs pic.twitter.com/heDTxuo08o
Typically, such a statement would easily be brushed off as just another analyst sharing their thoughts on the skills and abilities of two players about which they know little. However, in the case of Riddick there are a couple extra factors that could potentially make such an observation worth paying attention to. Specifically, Riddick was in Mobile, Alabama covering the Reese’s Senior Bowl for ESPN, which would have, of course, put him in close proximity to Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll.
Now, obviously, there’s no guarantee that Schneider and Riddick would have spent time together in Mobile, but interestingly it certainly would not have been the first time their paths crossed. Going back into Riddick’s history, when his NFL playing career ended, he took on a role as a scout for the franchise currently known as the Washington Commanders. It’s a role he held for four years beginning in 2001, which is noteworthy in that for the 2001 season the director of pro personnel for Washington was none other than current Seahawks general manager John Schneider.
Putting that all together it means that two former coworkers happened to be in the same place for the same purpose last week, and subsequently one of them has shared insight into whether or not Drew Lock could be expected to repeat in 2023 the 2022 on field performance of Geno Smith. This certainly doesn’t mean that Riddick and Schneider met up and discussed the subject, nor does it in any way mean that Riddick’s opinion is the absolute truth. What it does mean, though, is that a former scout and director of player personnel for two separate franchises and who has ties to the Seahawks front office has now weighed in, and that might be worth something.