Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks made it official on Thursday, as the Pro Bowl quarterback signed his new 3-year deal that will keep him in the Pacific Northwest for the foreseeable future. As the ink was still drying, he took the stage, joined by Pete Carroll and John Schneider to speak to the media following the finalization of the biggest contract of his career thus far. As should be expected, most of the questions they fielded revolved around the incentive-laden extension that Smith agreed to earlier this week, but the trio discussed a range of topics, from the draft to the thought process that went into the new contract. Prior to sitting down, though, Geno Smith made his way through the VMAC, where he was greeted by a handful of organizational coaches and staff who were there to congratulate him on his latest accomplishment.
When they did make their way to the podium, the trio opened up with some humor, poking fun at a certain player who made a saucy insinuation about a certain pre-draft meeting with a certain coach.
Apparently, Smith never had any question of where he wanted to end up, and the organization felt similarly. He indicated that his contract reflects his feelings towards the future of this team and the potential they have heading into 2023.
Geno Smith says he didn't want to go to free agency, agreed to the Seahawks' 3-year contract offer with a lot of incentives to lower his salaries, create salary-cap space so they could improve the roster.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) March 9, 2023
"I believe in team," Smith said. https://t.co/UetCdbTp7w @thenewstribune
While many outside of the organization questioned the team’s direction heading into last season, Pete Carroll says that he never wavered on his belief in the 32-year old signal caller. Neither did Geno Smith.
Pete Carroll on Geno Smith's breakout season: "He always knew, we just had to let it out."— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) March 9, 2023
Smith: "Yes sir."
Adding to this, Smith expressed confidence in himself and the team, and indicated that this directly influenced his decision to take a contract that is heavy on incentives.
Geno Smith says he is betting on himself by agreeing to more than $30M chunk of his new, potentially $105M contract being tied to bonuses and incentives because he wanted to leave the Seahawks flexibility, $ to build a championship team again around him.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) March 9, 2023
“I believe in team 1st.” pic.twitter.com/dHPsAQLJNC
John Schneider chimed in with a statement of support, indicating that this team sees a future with Geno Smith and Pete Carroll at the helm.
John Schneider says "the ultimate goal is to have Geno holding that championship trophy with coach Carroll.''— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 9, 2023
Even considering this, though, Pete Carroll hasn’t exactly been dismissive of the possibility of the team targeting a quarterback early in the draft. When asked about this possibility, Geno Smith had little hesitation in his response.
Telling quote from Geno Smith on what he'd think if Seahawks draft a QB this year. Says it's just fine with him. "I love to compete so I'' compete with anybody but I'm also going to help them out as much as I can.''— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 9, 2023
Schneider went on to praise Smith’s tenacity and perseverance throughout his long and challenging career that brought him up to this point.
Our @thenewstribune video: Seahawks general manager John Schneider says after re-signing Geno Smith to a contract worth at least $75M the quarterback is an example for men and women nationally about faith, perseverance and work ethic, of not giving up pic.twitter.com/tbyQQGzHJw— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) March 9, 2023
As we all recall, Smith responded famously to Lisa Salters when asked about being written off. With a Pro Bowl nod and a new contract, he feels like he is finally getting the respect that he undoubtedly deserves. At least externally, as the organization has been with him all along, he said.
Geno Smith, after signing your new 3-year deal with the Seahawks today for $75M up to $100M, do you feel respected?— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) March 9, 2023
“Yes. Yes, I do.
“I’ve always felt respected in this organization.” @thenewstribune pic.twitter.com/icvOqO0edD
Smith may have re-signed, but he isn’t resigned to simply hoping to repeat 2022. According to the Seahawks official team website, he had the following to say about his breakout season and what the future holds in store.
“I was throwing yesterday, and shoot, the ball was coming out pretty good,” Smith said with a big grin. “… I believe that, although we did some great things last year, the sky’s the limit for what we can do this year. I think we can improve in so many ways, and that’s really what I look forward to. That’s all my offseason is about—improving and becoming a better player.”
Carroll went on to express similarly optimistic sentiments.
“He’s been in the system and with us for a good while, and that’s why he was so accomplished when he got his opportunity. But there’s nothing like that playtime that he just had. There’s nothing like coming back with DK and Tyler and the fellas, the tight ends and running backs to put this thing together to the next level that’s out there for us. So it’s all just ahead of us and the cool thing, you can hear it, it’s about working hard. Without the hard work and the dedication and the trust in the people around you, it isn’t going to happen, but we got all that. So that’s why we’re so positive about it, so that’s why we know we’re going places.”
Following a few weeks of uncertainty, the Seahawks organization and fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Geno Smith will be back again in 2023. His performance last season was a revelation for a team that had seemingly little to play for after dealing their star quarterback during the offseason. We all know how that worked out, and now the organization can confidently go about building their team around their veteran quarterback as they head into free agency and the draft. From written off to writing his name on a fresh new contract, Geno Smith will approach 2023 with high expectations as the presumptive starter for the first time in many years.