The Seattle Seahawks have signed quarterback Geno Smith to a three-year deal worth $105 million, $30 million of which is earned via incentives. At the same time, the Seahawks also have the 5th overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft and there is absolutely a chance that one of the top quarterback prospects will be available by the time Seattle is on the clock. Anthony Richardson and Will Levis are the two quarterbacks who have been projected to Seattle by mock drafters, as it’s expected that Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud will be off the board by #5.
With the realization that Geno’s deal is team-friendly and the furthest thing from a cap killer, it also still leaves the door open for the Seahawks to take a quarterback early and have Geno for up to three years, while the rookie QB would be on a four-year (plus fifth-year option) contract.
On Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk show, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll addressed both the possibility of the team taking a quarterback, as well as how Geno Smith could react to that decision.
“That opportunity is absolutely there. We can do whatever we need to do, which is a whole other discussion of what’s really exciting,” Carroll said. “The coaches are working at it and the scouts are working at it to try to position this thing. When you’re at (pick) 5, this is different than we’re used to seeing now. This is really fun because you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen with four different choices (before you), so which one is it? We’re alive and all guns are blazing here.”
“Whatever we do, he’s gonna take it in stride. He’s not gonna worry about anybody,” Carroll said. “This is as a reward to what he’s done, even solidifies his confidence in understanding how much trust we have in him. If that is to happen, that is a choice for the long haul of the future and all that. We’ll see what happens.”
The Seahawks have seldom drafted quarterbacks under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. They obviously drafted Russell Wilson but then didn’t take another quarterback until Alex McGough in 2018, and that’s everyone under PC/JS. Of course, they’re usually not high up in the draft order, and there will be a run of QBs off the board by the time the top-10 is complete.
One would assume that the Seahawks would have Geno start and the rookie rides the pine (and depending on who’s drafted, could have a package of plays in the playbook like Justin Fields, Trey Lance, etc.) under this scenario. Alternatively, they draft no quarterbacks again and let whomever be Geno’s backup, punting any potential QB of the future to 2024.
As far as Geno’s incentive-laden contract, Carroll sees this as Smith betting on himself.
“When you guys get your chance and you really dig in, you’ll see that it is leaning that way,” Carroll said. “We’re counting on him coming through and doing the things that he was able to do last year. And if he does that, he’s gonna get rewarded. We know that if he’s able to come back and do that, he’s gonna have a great season and we’re gonna be in great shape and we’re gonna have a real chance to be at our best. So it is heavily structured that way. And I know that he’s gambling a little bit (on himself).”
And yes, Carroll says the Seahawks can win a Super Bowl with Geno as the starter. Did you think he was going to say anything else?
“Heck yeah, we could. Heck yeah we can,” Carroll said. “He’s gonna do his part. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of stuff that we have to get done, we have a lot of decisions to make. This extraordinary draft coming up has been ongoing, too, and we haven’t left that topic either. That’s been ongoing.”
Another “extraordinary draft” would be a major help in getting Seattle back into serious Super Bowl contention.