Geno Smith's surprising season forces change to NFL awards wording

The writers for the AP must have been so ashamed of their votes for Smith that they updated the wording for one NFL award.
Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks
Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

At times this offseason it seemed as if some NFL sites were waiting for the Seahawks to let former head coach Pete Carroll go to let people know what they think of Seattle's football team. They don't think much. That is for certain.

Seattle has consistently been predicted by various sites to have fewer wins this year than in previous seasons. The only huge change was at head coach so people believed in Carroll more than they do in new coach Mike Macdonald. How else to explain after back-to-back 9-8 seasons the expectations by many would be that the Seahawks would fall to seven victories?

The Associated Press is also clearly feeling guilty about awarding quarterback Geno Smith the Comeback Player of the Year honor for 2022. (The AP partly consists of the writers you vote for NFL awards.) The evidence for this is that the AP has sent a memo to all voters with revamped wording for the Smith's honor.

The AP clearly felt guilty about giving Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith an award

The wording now reads, "The spirit of the AP Comeback Player of the Year award is to honor a player who has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity by overcoming illness, physical injury, or other circumstances that led him to miss playing time the previous season."

The other circumstances seemingly would apply to Smith. After all, he went from a full-time starter in the league to a years-long backup before reemerging with the Seahawks as the starter in 2022. He led the NFC in touchdown passes and the league in completion percentage that season. He came back from NFL backup quarterback purgatory to be a quality starter.

That wasn't good enough for the AP, though. They need more blood and tears, it seems. The wording was changed after Smith won his award and before Joe Flacco won Comeback Player of the Year in 2023, but it did not go into effect until this coming season. The runner-up to Smith in 2022 was San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey who had returned from an injury.

Seahawks urged to go all-in for this QB in 2025. dark. Next. Seahawks urged to go all-in for this QB in 2025

One might infer, though, that the spirit of the CPoY award should be the story that goes along with it. Any player can get hurt at any point, and those players will work to recover from the injury in hopes of being better in the future. Smith, though, wasn't expected to do anything much by most NFL pundits his first year starting in Seattle. The expectation part is important.

With McCaffrey, he was injured but expected to be great when he returned as he had been excellent before being hurt. Smith was considered a fill-in starter who was truly a backup and expected to be relieved of his duties once the Seahawks found a decent new quarterback. Instead, Smith was good enough that Seattle did not need to find a quarterback quickly.

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