Seamless In Seattle – Geno Smith And Front Office Agree On New 3-Year Deal

Sep 12, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts following a play against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks’ transition from QB Russell Wilson is going better than anyone could have expected. The list of wins now includes Wilson’s replacement in Geno Smith, who has officially converted his surprising 2022 season into a new deal and a big payday without having to relocate, something both sides had publicly voiced they were hopeful could be accomplished in the new league year.

Smith isn’t going anywhere, and he won’t have to deal with the franchise tag either to stay with the team. Late Monday afternoon Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network broke the news that Smith and the Seahawks had agreed on a new deal, and sometime later, it was revealed to be a 3-year contract extension that would pay him $105M, with the potential for Smith to earn as much as $52M in the first year. Geno played on a one-year $7M contract in 2022, so this is a well-deserved mega pay raise. 

Official terms and fine print of the new deal have yet to be released, but it would be reasonable to expect a team or player option or both for the final year of the deal when Geno will be 35. He has low miles on his legs and arm for a veteran QB. Still, time is undefeated when it comes to closing out NFL careers, so even though this was just the second full season as the starter for Geno, it’s still wise to keep the deal short, so the team and the player can re-evaluate after a couple of years and see where they stand. 

With four picks in the first two rounds of the draft next month, it’s possible Seattle will take a chance on a QB to develop behind Geno, even if they don’t draft them in the first round. Geno had a great year in 2022 and got the team back to the playoffs, but this contract is just as much about what the team believes he can do with the right supporting cast as much as it is a high five for the work he has already completed. A responsible front office still needs to keep a careful watch on the future of the most critical position in football, so Geno shouldn’t be insulted if the team brass takes a chance on his potential replacement a month after signing him to a new deal. 

After winning comeback player of the year in 2022, Geno must keep forging his path forward. That will be more difficult in 2023, with an entire season of film for defensive coordinators to study him in Shane Waldron’s system. Geno already changed how he attacked defenses in one summer last year, so don’t think for a second he can’t make adjustments again this time, but it will be more difficult, and there will be pressure on him and the team to build on their success. 

Geno joined Seattle in 2019 and had his first start for the team in 2021 after Russell Wilson suffered a hand injury and missed five weeks. Geno performed admirably in backup duty, but no one saw him emerging as a top-10 QB in the NFL. A training camp and preseason QB battle saw him competing with Drew Lock for the starting QB job, and most people had the fight even, if not in favor of the younger Lock. Geno emerged as the starter and, from the first week, impressed fans and analysts with his accuracy, aggressiveness, and ability to protect the ball, each an important skill the best in the game have in their arsenal but not skills he was known for earlier in his professional career.

After Wilson was traded to Denver for what was essentially a new team in the form of draft picks, many saw Geno as the guy that would be stuck holding down the fort while a full-scale rebuild took over. Instead, Geno took the opportunity to write a thank you note to everyone who doubted him, making 2022 a phoenix rising from the ashes instead of an off-key swan song.  

Breaking Wilson’s single-season records for passing yards and completion percentage while leading the NFC in touchdowns was an incredible feat. Geno must build on those accolades in the new season and beyond. The team he plays for didn’t make the playoffs in 2021; he fixed that in 2022. They didn’t have a winning record in 2021; he fixed that in 2022. They didn’t have cap space to build a team around him in 2021. They have that space now and need to use it carefully. A home playoff game and getting back to the divisional round need to be the goals for 2023. Simply returning to where you landed last season won’t be good enough. 

Seattle took a flier on Geno last year. Now they are actually taking a chance on him, signing him to a deal that will pay him similarly to QBs at his level. This deal puts him at the same table as the other elite QBs as far as pay goes, a giant leap forward in salary for a guy just trying to make a roster last year. 

Geno proved he belonged last season, and this season the team paid him back for a job well done. Let’s hope that’s not where the story ends; let’s hope it is the beginning of something special. 

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About Casey Mabbott 231 Articles
Casey Mabbott is a writer and podcast host born and raised in West Philadelphia where he spent most of his days on the basketball court perfecting his million dollar jumpshot. Wait, no, that’s all wrong. Casey has spent his entire life here in the Pacific NorthWest other than his one year stint as mayor of Hill Valley in an alternate reality 1985. He’s never been to Philadelphia, and his closest friends will tell you that his jumpshot is the farthest thing from being worth a million bucks. Casey enjoys all sports and covering them with written words or spoken rants. He has made an art of movie references, and is a devout follower of 80's movies and music. I don't know why you would to, but you can probably find him on the street corner waiting for the trolley to take him to the stadium or his favorite pub, where he will be telling people the answers to questions they don’t remember asking. And it only goes downhill from there if he drinks. He’s a real treat.