Draft compensation for Seahawks
The other thing to keep in mind with the non-exclusive franchise tag is that if Geno Smith were offered a deal from another team and Seattle declined, they would be given two 1st-round draft picks. Just that possibility alone is why the Seahawks should make the wise business decision and apply the tag on Smith.
Ironically, the approach that Philadelphia took to get to the Super Bowl is similar to what Seattle did in 2013 when they won the Super Bowl. They had a quarterback on a rookie contract, which allowed them to funnel money into other positions of need. Whether it was through trade or free agency, the Seahawks put together one of the best rosters in the entire NFL just like the Eagles did.
If you remember, the beginning of the end for Russell Wilson and Seattle was when GM John Schneider had interest in drafting Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft. Followed by a serious interest in taking Josh Allen in 2018. The philosophy of having an adequate enough quarterback surrounded by great talent will help elevate them into being a championship-caliber team. In all fairness, Russell Wilson was more than adequate during his rookie contract and thereafter, for a long period of time.
But, when a large portion of your salary cap is going to one player, you are putting an immense amount of pressure on their shoulders to overcome the inability of other positions due to lack of cap space. Now that the salary cap is continuously rising, Seattle would be able to make moves even with Geno Smith making roughly $30M/per year.
Another benefit of this non-exclusive franchise tag is that Seattle would be adding more draft capital if Smith were to sign elsewhere. Knowing that Schneider drafted Russell Wilson and wanted both Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen (2 of the top 4 QBs in the NFL), we can trust his eye for talent. More importantly, by receiving two 1st-round draft picks, the Seahawks wouldn’t have to alter their draft plans in order to replace Geno Smith.