Geno might bridge the gap in a Seahawks rebuild
Here’s the rub — Geno Smith is playing on a one-year deal, and becomes a free agent after this season. The Seahawks still have a lot to fix on the defensive side of the ball, and if they want to maximize their window for contention, they’ll want to wait on drafting a QB until they have that defense fixed.
But if Geno keeps playing at the level he’s playing, it’s hard to imagine that someone wouldn’t throw him a fat contract this coming offseason if Seattle doesn’t lock him up before then. Currently, the Browns and Dolphins both have quality rosters and self-inflicted questions at QB, the Buccaneers will be waiting to hear from Tom Brady this offseason, the Panthers are still a mess at the position with no end in sight, and the Ravens could still be toying with the question of what to do with Lamar Jackson.
In short, there is no shortage of teams willing to show up at Geno’s house with the keys to a Brinks truck in hand.
Let’s say that Smith goes and makes a Pro Bowl this season. Would it not be fair for him to ask for a Ryan Tannehill-type contract? That would be something in the realm of four years, $120 million. But do the Seahawks really want to commit $30 million a year to Geno Smith, knowing full well how many holes still need to be patched on their roster?
So, what to do? Let’s say Geno continues at a pace that’s not quite so sizzling as what he’s done to this point, but is still solidly average to above average, like a Ryan Tannehill. That’s going to knock the Seahawks out of contention for the top pick, almost certainly, and that could very well mean they would have to trade up for the QB they would want from this draft, leaving the question of what they would do about the defense. Extending Geno after the season would likely raise the exact same question.
What other options are out there? Do you go out and sign a Baker Mayfield or Daniel Jones, hoping for a successful reclamation project? It seems to me that Geno Smith has left the Seahawks with an incredulous proposition — they may need to sign him to a significant-but-reasonable extension right now before they’re forced into kneecapping their rebuild or trying to mold Daniel Jones into a viable playoff starter.