I am not a Geno Smith hater and I feel like I should preface the rest of this article by pointing that out. There are quite a few 12s who seem to have not liked Smith since the beginning of the Seattle Seahawks 2022 season, but Smith was very good last year. Or he was at least a lot better than people expected him to be and that might be part of his issue in 2023. So far, Smith hasn't been as good, and in Week 6 he was simply bad.
Smith finished 27 of 41 passing for 323 yards but no touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in a 17-13 loss to the Bengals. One of those interceptions might not be completely his fault as there just seemed to be a miscommunication between him and DK Metcalf. But Peyton Manning used to say that every pass he threw had his name on it and good, bad, or ugly, whatever happened was partly on him.
On Geno Smith's first interception, though, he was completely at fault. He tried to throw a corner route to Jaxon Smith-Njigba but not only was Smith-Njigba well-covered but he also had two defenders near him. Smith had no chance of completing the pass and the ball was fairly easily picked off.
The Seahawks got into Cincinnati's red zone five times. Some of the reason for this was some well-thrown passes by Smith. That's the thing. Smith isn't a bad quarterback, but is he able to lift a team higher than the sum of their parts? He was very good in 2022 in his first full year starting since 2014, and he should have been better this season after having a full year of experience in offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's system. But Smith has been worse.
Seattle Seahawks might need to look elsewhere long-term at QB other than Geno Smith
Smith was under pressure a bit more in Week 6 than in recent weeks, but he also held on to the ball far too long many times, and though he was sacked four times, three of them were on him. I saw one post on X asking what else Geno Smith could have done on first-and-goal in the fourth quarter besides be sacked, but the truth is Smith ran into the pressure after having several seconds to throw the ball away and he killed the drive.
Smith seemed hesitant far too many times in Week 6 and while the Seahawks were ranked in the top 10 in points scored in 2023 entering the game, 12 of those points were on interception returns. Take those away and Seattle was barely in the top half of the league in scoring despite playing two bad teams in the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants.
No, Seattle would not be better with Drew Lock playing, but would Seattle be better taking a quarterback in the first round in a deep QB class in 2024 draft? Most likely.
Smith was re-signed for three years this offseason. His contract is front-loaded and he could be released after 2023 with only $17.4 million in dead cap. Should he remain through 2024, his dead cap becomes only $8.7 million. Seattle could draft a quarterback in 2024, have him learn for a season and then take over in 2025. Whether that means keeping Smith through 2024 or releasing him after 2023 and having Drew Lock (assuming he is re-signed after this year) play for a season is potentially an important question.
After the Week 6 game, Geno Smith did take ownership of his overall poor play. He should as he didn't play well. But Seattle might be limited to reach their maximum potential with Smith as quarterback.