4 emergency QB options if Seahawks lose Geno Smith to injury in 2023

  • Drew Lock is ready to step in whenever he's needed
  • Holton Ahlers is an ideal emergency option
  • Teddy Bridgewater would be the perfect option
Seattle Seahawks, Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks, Geno Smith / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

No one wants to jinx anything here. When it comes to the health of Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Geno Smith, we're all hoping for the best, but the truth is that the team likely has contingency plans for potential injuries for every part of the roster—quarterback included.

Coming into this season, Smith has more weapons than ever before in his NFL career. The Seahawks already had wide receivers like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but then they drafted the best wide receiver in this year's rookie class in Jaxon Smith-Njigba. They also had a dynamic young running back in Kenneth Walker III but they grabbed his ultimate tandem partner in Zach Charbonnet in this year's second round.

Given all of the firepower available on this team, the Seahawks are going to want to keep some solid options and updated names on their Rolodex in case something goes wrong with Smith. Here's our guess as to who they could call if something went amiss.

Drew Lock

The Seahawks have already committed themselves to Drew Lock for another year as their fallback option in case something goes wrong with Geno Smith.

Earlier this spring, the team re-signed Lock to a one-year deal that will pay him $4 million for holding the clipboard at the position and serving as the primary security at the position in case of emergency. The deal is also good for an additional $3.5 million in incentives if Lock is forced into any real action.

Lock was once the second-round selection of John Elway and the Denver Broncos back in the 2019 NFL Draft as a young prospect out of Missouri with a big arm. Unfortunately for both team and player, Lock was not the answer to the franchise's quarterback woes and ended up as another name in a long line of failed attempts to right the ship at QB in Denver before they traded for Russell Wilson.

Lock's body of work as a part-time starter for the Broncos over parts of three seasons isn't all that impressive. He led the league with 15 interceptions in 2020, and the team finally gave up on the experiment only a few games into '21. He showed solid promise as a rookie with a 4-1 record as a starter with an 89.7 QB rating but even then the advanced metrics weren't all that great.

That said, Lock was always going to need time and he's still only 26-years-old. He didn't play a single snap last year, but Seattle likes Lock's potential enough here to keep him around as their primary option in case something happens to Smith. Lock's allure remains a mystery to those outside Lumen Field but insiders have made their call for a reason.

Holton Ahlers

Right now, the Seahawks only have three quarterbacks on the roster and QB3 is an interesting rookie free agent signing, Holton Ahlers.

Ahlers comes to Seattle via East Carolina as an undrafted prospect with loads of starting experience at the collegiate level. With 50 career starts and 97 touchdown passes, Ahlers comes ready-made for the demands of the position. Standing over 6'2 and nearly 240 lbs., he also has great size and decent mobility.

That said, scouts would love to rework Ahlers mechanics and throwing motion and his accuracy was never going to wow anyone. But the production has always been there for Ahlers and the Seahawks seem to like the intangibles he brings to the position.

Despite being the third quarterback on the roster, let's be clear that the Seahawks would have good reason to scour the free agent ranks for a new starting option under center rather than go with Ahlers. The Seahawks' offense has the potential and playmakers to rank among the most explosive in the NFL, and Ahlers would have to look very ready in order to assume command of it if something went wrong with Smith and/or Lock.

Still, Ahlers merits an early mention on our list here simply because he's positioned better than anyone else not named Lock to come in for Smith if there's any potential injury.

Jacob Eason

If the Seahawks wanted to look outside of the organization for some quarterback depth in case of injuries at the position, they could always call up a familiar face in Jacob Eason.

Eason was the fourth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts back in the 2020 NFL Draft after wrapping up his collegiate career regionally at the University of Washington. Eason didn't play during his rookie year but won the chance to start by Week 2 of his second season. Yet somehow the Colts hated what they saw enough to have released him outright by the following month.

From there, Eason was claimed by the Seahawks and spent nearly a year with the team—from midway through the 2021 season through the entirety of the next preseason. He didn't play a single snap during his time and ultimately lost out to Smith and Lock as the new duo on the depth chart.

Since his release a year ago from Seattle, he has been picked up by the Carolina Panthers on two occasions and the San Francisco 49ers. He's currently a free agent waiting for a chance, but he would be a young player with some familiarity with what the Seahawks like to do offensively.

Teddy Bridgewater

If any team is going to make a move on the free agent market for a new starting quarterback, those exploratory calls will likely begin with Teddy Bridgewater and there's no reason to think John Schneider might be the exception.

Bridgewater is still only 30 years old but comes to any team with 65 games of starting experience over the course of eight NFL seasons. Last year, he started a couple of games for the Miami Dolphins in the wake of Tua Tagovailoa's injuries before suffering a broken finger, and he is now a free agent once again.

Bridgewater has proven to be a competent starting quarterback in years past and he even made the Pro Bowl in 2015, but teams have an impossible time counting on him with his injury history. Beyond the broken finger in '22, Bridgewater has torn his ACL, suffered an MCL sprain, endured multiple concussions and more in the last few years.

That said, the floor here is much higher with Bridgewater than likely what it would be with any of the aforementioned options. The loss of Smith might allow one or more of the players on this list to earn a chance, but it shouldn't surprise anyone to see the Seahawks contact Bridgewater if Smith is lost for a long time.