Let's start with the theory that the Seattle Seahawks will likely miss the playoffs in 2023, but even if they don't, is the team set up to be even better in 2024? Seattle is basically following the same trend as last year by having a decent record in mid-season before having a swoon until late in the year. Seattle has no real reason to lose its final three games so 9-8 is still possible.
9-8, however, is the same record as last year even though Seattle was fairly aggressive in free agency and appears to have had another solid draft in 2023. The Seahawks are currently a mediocre franchise and being mediocre is many times more difficult to overcome than simply being bad. Bad teams have really high draft picks; Mediocre teams draft in the 12-23 range; they get good players but not transformative most of the time.
Seattle cannot have any fear this offseason. They cannot simply come into 2024 expecting much better results. To truly improve, they might need to blow up the roster a bit, take a step backward to move three steps forward. Here are four players who might need to go after this year.
No. 1 - Quarterback Geno Smith
While Geno Smith can be a divisive figure among 12s, just like lots of QB1s can be around the league, over the course of two years he has not been awful. Over the course of his 32 starts in Seattle, he has a quarterback rating of 96.6 with 50 touchdowns (a solid 4.7 touchdown percentage per throw) against 21 interceptions (a not-bad 2.0 percentage), and he has completed 67.7 percent of his throws. Those are winnable numbers as long as the team is better around the quarterback.
Geno Smith just is not good enough to elevate a team from mediocre to good. He never will be as he never has been. Will Geno Smith keep Seattle in football games and in a race for the playoffs most seasons? Yes. But he is not good enough to push the team over the proverbial hump into contender status.
The above also applies to backup Drew Lock. Either Smith or Lock needs to leave after 2023, but Smith makes more money, and releasing him brings a lot more cap room. Lock is a free agent in 2024, but he is only paid $4 million this year and isn't going to make much more, if any, with whomever he signs next offseason. Losing Smith means bringing in a veteran quarterback or drafting his replacement and drafting a quarterback should be much better long-term. The cap saving by releasing Smith would be $13.8 million.