Three Seahawks heading into a make-or-break season in 2024

Seattle is in a transition year in 2024 so some veterans need to have good seasons in order to earn roster spots in 2025.
Jake Bobo of the Seattle Seahawks
Jake Bobo of the Seattle Seahawks / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks are entering a transition season in 2024. That should not imply the team will be unsuccessful. Even a team that is changing coaching staffs with a lot of roster turnover can be good.

Seattle has had back-to-back 9-8 seasons. Mediocre, but not awful. A lot of the issue has been how inefficient the defense has been. With better play on that side of the ball, Seattle could win 10 or 11 games.

Still, new coaches mean new evaluations of players. Some who are likely to make the roster this season need to show in real games they are worthy of keeping around. The following three players need to have productive years.

Three Seahawks players facing make-or-break seasons this year

Quarterback Geno Smith

Smith is the most obvious player that needs to have a good season. He is a 33-year-old quarterback who has one year left on his contract and many people still see him as a backup or a fill-in. He obviously has been much better than a backup as the starter for the last two seasons, but depending on how his 2024 goes (as well as the rest of the team), Seattle might want to start looking at a longer-term answer at QB.

Still, there should be no dismissing the fact that Smith did lead the NFL in both game-winning drives and fourth quarter comebacks last year, and the NFC in touchdown passes the season before that. He is clearly capable of quality. Should he be even better under new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, Smith will likely earn his contract for 2025.

Of course, Seattle has another issue in that they are over the salary cap in 2025 already. Tough financial decisions will need to be made, and one of those could be at the quarterback position. Sam Howell is Smith's backup, has starting experience, and is $37 million less expensive than Smith next year.

Wide receiver Jake Bobo

Jake Bobo became a nearly instant fan-favorite in 2023. Before the season began, and during training camp, the receiver's teammates were raving about his work habits and his ability to catch. He was not sprinter-speed fast, but he seemingly knew how to get open. As an undrafted free agent, though, Bobo was still not a certainty to make the roster. He ended up being WR4 for the team.

After getting a decent amount of reps early in the season, including playing on 75 percent of offensive snaps in Week 7 when Bobo also had a season-high four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown, by the second half of the year, he rarely saw the field. From Week 9 on, the receiver only had one game where he played more than 27 percent of offensive snaps.

He can catch well and he has good enough size to be a threat in the red zone, but his lack of speed might always give coaches pause to play him. He proved himself to the coaching staff in 2023, at least enough to play early in the season, but now he must show he is worthy of a long-term roster spot with a new coaching staff.

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Safety Rayshawn Jenkins

Jenkins signed as a free agent this offseason, and his deal is for two years and a maximum of $12 million. He is 30 years old, which is getting a bit ancient for an NFL safety. Some can play well into the 30s, but those players have usually proven to be great players who can play at a Pro Bowl level. Jenkins has mostly been an average safety over his career who is decent in coverage and not spectacular in any area.

There is a good chance that Jenkins was signed to be a fill-in for one year. His contract gets more expensive in 2025 and the team could save $5.4 million by releasing him. Maybe he turns into an excellent fit in Mike Macdonald's scheme - and the Seahawks likely do not sign him if Macdonald doesn't believe Jenkins to be a good fit - but he would still be 31 years old next year.

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