4 Seattle Seahawks players that could be replaced in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Lee Vowell
Player No. 4: Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith
This is the one that is less fun to discuss. I would guess that the Seahawks designed Geno Smith's contract this offseason the way they did for a really good reason. That is, they hope that Smith is great again in 2023, but they might also think that even with Smith being good again, he isn't the long-term answer. Schneider and Carroll might see something in one of the quarterbacks available in the 2023 draft that make them think, "We could sit him for a season and be great for a long time."
Smith's contract pays him just $10.1 million in 2023. His dead cap is $27.3 million, however. But in 2024, his dead cap falls to $17.4 million, which is affordable for the team if the player is released and the dead cap is spread out over a couple of seasons. If Smith stays in 2024, his cap hit is $31.2 million. Basically, Seattle did a genius job of re-signing Smith.
If Smith is good in 2023, his cap hit in 2024 is still not that bad compared to other contracts of veteran quarterbacks who are good. Seattle could keep him and not be hurt by his cap number. This would work even if Seattle took a quarterback like Anthony Richardson. But if Smith isn't as good in 2023 compared to 2022, Seattle could release him and replace him with who they could take in the 2023 draft.
Basically, it wouldn't be surprising if the Seahawks did take a quarterback high in the draft. They have addressed the problem along the defensive line with the signings of Reed and Jones, and they have addressed the issue at linebacker with the signings of Bobby Wagner and Devin Bush. At least, they have hopefully fixed issues at those positions for 2023. If not, they can fix them in 2024. Maybe Seattle does take Richardson or Will Levis at pick 5 after all, and they replace Smith in 2024.