The controversy begins with a trade of Geno Smith
I know a lot of 12s would be thrilled to see the Hawks trade Geno Smith. Many of those fans insist that Smith played terribly this season. I certainly don't agree, as I've made quite clear at this point. As detailed by Brady Henderson for ESPN, Smith had the league's best QBR (81.3) over the last four games of the year. Henderson points out that the Hawks are far more likely to trade Smith than cut him. That's assuming that Schneider wants to move on from him this season at all.
Schneider said that he believes the Seahawks are "on the cusp", but that doesn't necessarily mean he thinks Smith is the right man to help them take that next step. If they move on from Smith, they would certainly trade him, rather than release him. A trade with a post-June 1st designation would save Seattle $22.5 million. Yes, I'm sure the vocal minority don't believe that Schneider could get any value for the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year, but that's a foolish opinion at best.
As Lee Vowell wrote in his assessment of a possible trade, Smith was 12th in QBR this season. He happens to rank 12th in cap hit for 2024 as well. As previously noted, he closed strong, leading the league in QBR for the final four games. In the same article, it was posited that the Seahawks could get a first-round pick for Smith. At first glance, I thought that was too optimistic. Frankly, a second-rounder and a fourth would be pretty good. But after plowing through a bit of trade history, thanks to spotrac.com.
Geno Smith hasn't exactly established the career of a Russell Wilson or an Aaron Rodgers, it's true. But he also has far more value than a 37-year-old Matt Ryan (third-round pick) or the 2022 edition of Carson Wentz (on balance, two third-rounders for Wentz and a 7th). Sam Darnold, who was by any definition a failure after three seasons with the Jets, brought them a second, a fourth, and a sixth-round pick. So yes, the Seahawks could certainly get a first-round pick for Smith. The big question is where in the draft that pick might be.