The Seattle Seahawks may have thought they struck gold with quarterback Geno Smith. After he sat behind Russell Wilson for several years, Smith was made the starter after Seattle traded Russell Wilson before the 2022 NFL draft. Smith was then pretty good for most of 2022, but now there is a question about whether he should be replaced soon.
Smith hasn't had a very good 2023, and he has 8 turnovers in the last four games. 2023 has been a rough year for many quarterbacks for some odd reason, and Smith's statistics aren't the worst in the league. But he also doesn't seem capable of elevating a young and talented roster to being a championship contender.
While Smith might have been viewed as a bridge to Seattle's next long-term quarterback, he hasn't become a good bridge. His numbers are worse in 2023 than in 2022 so he isn't getting better. Seattle might need to find a replacement for him before 2024 and if the team does, these five quarterbacks could replace him.
5. 2024 free agent QB Drew Lock
Seattle has a recent history of bringing back backup quarterbacks that it trusts. OK, that's most Geno Smith, but for three seasons Smith sat behind Russell Wilson so whatever general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll were telling Smith to entice him to keep coming back to the team worked. Things work will work a little differently with Lock.
Instead of coming back as the backup, Seattle could bring Lock back on a one-year deal to start. Assuming the Seahawks re-sign Lock for something about $7 million - that is how much they paid Smith to come back in 2022 and start - then the amount of dead cap Geno Smith would account for in 2024 ($17.4 million) plus Lock's contract would still be $7 million less than what Seattle would have paid Smith next year.
Re-signing Lock, who clearly already knows Seattle's offensive scheme, wouldn't keep the Seahawks from drafting a quarterback high in the 2024 NFL draft. Plus, Lock would be on a prove-it deal amd if he plays well then great. Seattle would then have a good problem in 2025 about whether to bring Lock back again or to move forward with whoever the team takes in 2024.