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Geno Smith named as dark horse MVP candidate in column

It’s from Adam Schein, so this could be the kiss of death.

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Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

In recent years, sports discourse in the NFL in particular has been drenched in year-round talk about the MVP award. We’ve indulged in this quite a bit, particularly during the last two good healthy years of Russell Wilson’s career, but when he was traded last season I doubt anyone ever thought Geno Smith would be in shouting distance of any MVP conversation at any point in time. His hot start to 2022 did inevitably drop enough to take him out of that year’s MVP race, but he was able to get the Comeback Player of the Year award after throwing for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns on a league-best 69.8% completion rate.

Now with a full offseason under his belt as the unquestioned starter of the Seattle Seahawks, Geno is getting a little buzz as a long odds but not inconceivable candidate to add another remarkable achievement to his career turnaround.

In an article published earlier this week, Adam Schein (yes, Adam Schein) put out his sleeper MVP candidates and Geno made the list at No. 7. That’s funny considering, you know, well actually I’ll let him explain himself.

Just prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, I wrote that Geno was a franchise quarterback worthy of a first-round pick. That take got so cold that Fred Segal featured it in his Freezing Cold Takes book Football Media’s Most Inaccurate Predictions — and the Fascinating Stories Behind Them. When I had Fred on my Rise and Schein podcast last offseason, I told him that he’d need to retract it when Geno became a star. Less than a year later, Smith is the reigning Comeback Player of the Year, fresh off a Pro Bowl season, having just signed a three-year, $105 million extension.

Where’s my retraction, Fred?!

OK, being fair, I did kind of give up on my own take by last August ...

Seahawks GM John Schneider had some fun with that when he appeared on my Podcast in May, and rightfully so. Schneider really believes in Geno. So does Pete Carroll. Last year was not a fluke. And Schneider just gave his FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK a juicy first-round receiver in Jaxon Smith-Njigba. I expect Geno to be even better in 2023, maximizing the Seahawks.

For what it’s worth, DraftKings Sportsbook gives Geno +3500 odds (or 35-to-1 if you want to read it that way) of winning MVP. Patrick Mahomes is the obvious favorite given he just won it last year, and you also have Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts not too far behind.

So if you’re so minded, Schein’s bullishness on Geno could be the jinx we don’t want on our plate, or he’s come back around on him and the Seahawks in general after being one of the many who thought this team would crumble. Alternatively, you’ve played a small wager on Geno at +3500 because you’re that high on him and the Seahawks offense.

The latter stages of Wilson’s tenure in Seattle definitely wore me out in terms of MVP discussion, so this ain’t something I’m going to be watching closely when the season starts. It’d be cool if Geno played at an MVP level for the whole of 2023. I wouldn’t expect it and don’t want to wildly overcorrect from the initial negative thoughts about him, but I do know that the Seahawks should be in very good shape if he can even marginally improve upon his overall performance from last year, and that’s what is most important to me.