4 Seattle Seahawks players who cannot afford to get complacent in 2023

For the Seattle Seahawks to be greatly successful in 2023, these players need to be at the tops of their games.
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Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith

Geno Smith, like Tyler Lockett, probably isn't going to get complacent, and he will likely come into training camp feeling like the leader of the offense and wanting to prove how good he can be once again. But Smith also needs to show he has worked at being even better than the second half of last year and that his accuracy is as pin-point as it was in 2022 when he led the league in completion percentage.

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While Seattle signed Smith to a three-year extension this offseason, the deal really works out to be a one-year tryout. If Smith, whose cap hit is just $10.1 million in 2023, continues to perform as he did last year, he will continue to get paid into 2024 by Seattle. But if Smith has a drop off in quality, Seattle could release him, have a cap savings of $13.8 million next offseason, and another $25 million in the offseason after the 2024 season. Smith has no guaranteed money on his contract in 2024 or 2025 and most of his dead cap past 2023 is due to his prorated bonus of $8.7 million in each of the next three seasons.

Last training camp, there seemed to be a real battle for who would start at QB between Smith and Drew Lock. In the first preseason game, Smith led an offense that appeared pedantic and non-explosive. But Lock came in and threw some beautiful passes and the offense moved. Many thought Lock should actually beat out Smith, but as it turned out Smith was a great fit as quarterback and the Seahawks offense thrived.

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But what if Lock looks even better in training camp and preseason this year and Smith begins the season by being a bit off. How much would that scare offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and head coach Pete Carroll? Enough to not have Smith return in 2024?