Option No. 1: Sticking with Geno Smith
Offensively, the Seattle Seahawks are built nicely. They have two young tackles in Charles Cross and Abe Lucas. Two young running backs in Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet. An explosive wide receiver core in D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba - and dare I say, Jake Bobo? Depending on what happens in free agency, a solid tight end group in Noah Fant, Will Dissly, and Colby Parkinson.
They could potentially address wide receiver and tight end through the draft. But, for the most part, their offense is built to suceed. Geno Smith has been a good conductor of this offense over the last two years. In examining 2023, I do not think one can point to Geno Smith as a large reason for the lack of success this team has had. Certainly, the offense has had its struggles. But, what NFL offense hasn't?
Outside of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, all of the remaining playoff teams have had severe offensive issues at one point of the season. With that said, do the Seahawks believe they have the best shot of making a Super Bowl run with Geno Smith under center? Although he is under contract for two more seasons, the time to decide that would be this off-season.
Obstacle: The structure of Geno Smith's contract
Last off-season, the Seahawks were presented with a unique opportunity. They had their highest draft pick in the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era that could have resulted in a quarterback. But, Geno Smith was coming off a career year. Although I still believe the Seahawks had intentions of drafting Anthony Richardson if he were available, they went with now Pro Bowl CB Devon Witherspoon.
Yes, Geno Smith signed a big contract with the Seahawks before the draft. But, it came with a bunch of caveats. It was essentially another prove-it year deal, at least in year 1 for that matter. His $27.1 million fully guaranteed at signing allowed Geno to secure the bag, but the contract was heavily incentivized for him to replicate his success from the previous season.
While he hasn't hit all of his bonuses, him and the Seahawks are entering a cross roads once this season ends. The potential out on his contract is after this season. If they decide to move off, they would obviously need another quarterback to come in and replace him. If they decide to keep him, they essentially are saying they will ride it out with him for the next two seasons.
A decision that will be weighed heavily I might imagine. The 2024 NFL Draft Class is loaded with quarterback talent. Seattle could go that route, cutting Geno, selecting a QB and building around a cheap contract for 5-years. They could very well decide to keep Geno under center for two more seasons and continually build around him. Or, they can cut him and potentially replace him via trade.