Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith turned an NFL Comeback Player of the Year performance last season into what was originally reported to be a three-year, $105 million contract with the team this week.
When initial details of the contract emerged, they seemed to be extremely friendly for the former journeyman quarterback. That is to say, $40 million in fully guaranteed cash.
Apparently, this is not the case. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Smith actually received a mere $27.3 million in fully guaranteed cash. The other $12 million or so won’t become guaranteed until February of 2024. This means that Seattle can opt to release Smith ahead of the deadline — making this a mere one-year, $28 million contract. The total value was also lowered to $75 million once the final details were released.
From the Seattle Seahawks’ perspective, this has to be seen as team friendly. This would represent the 16th-highest total among quarterbacks in the NFL. Smith performed at a much higher clip than that a season ago.
- Geno Smith stats (2022): 69.8% completion, 4,282 yards, 30 TD, 11 INT, 100.9 QB rating
Geno Smith contract could change Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft plans
Even after Smith’s contract was made public earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Seahawks still plan to select a quarterback high in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The team boasts two first-round picks (fifth and 20th overall). That first pick came via the Denver Broncos in the Russell Wilson blockbuster trade. With several quarterbacks projected to go within the top 10, Seattle might be one of those to add that signal caller of the future.
Related: 2023 Seattle Seahawks mock draft
Assuming Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are off the board, that leaves Anthony Richardson (Florida) and Will Levis (Kentucky) as real options for general manager John Schneider. Head coach Pete Carroll touched on this during the NFL Scouting Combine last week.
- Geno Smith contract: 3 years, $75 million with $40 million in total guarantees and $27.3 million fully guaranteed
“We are totally connected to the quarterbacks that are coming out. This is a really huge opportunity for us. It’s a rare opportunity. We’ve been drafting in the low 20’s for such a long time. You just don’t get the chance with these guys. So, we’re deeply involved with all that,” Carroll on Seattle Seahawks draft plans.
Being able to get out of Smith’s contract after just one season represents protection for Seattle in case his 2022 performance was a mirage. Remember, the former second-round pick out of West Virginia tallied just 34 touchdowns compared to 37 interceptions in his first nine NFL seasons.
If Smith were to struggle in 2023, selecting a quarterback would provide Seattle even more protection. It just makes too much sense.