Seahawks GM Addresses QB Geno Smith’s Future

9:26pm: The Seahawks may be ready to end the trade speculation. Schneider is believed to have informed Smith he will be on the roster on his current contract next season, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Similar assurances in the recent past have led to some course changes; this does come two years after Pete Carroll said at the Combine the intention was not to trade Wilson. That said, the Seahawks appear to be planning for a third season with Smith at the controls.

10:36am: Entering the offseason, questions were raised about the Seahawks’ commitment to quarterback Geno Smith. Despite the veteran’s multi-year extension signed in the wake of his impressive 2022 showing, the team had a path to releasing or trading him with minimal cap penalties.

However, the recent moves made by Seattle point in the direction of Smith being retained for at least one more campaign. His $12.7MM base salary has already become fully guaranteed, and the team agreed to a restructure last week. As a result of that move, Smith’s roster bonus was converted to a signing bonus, saving 2024 cap space and accelerating a payment which was due next month.

Many had pointed to March 18 (the time at which Smith’s roster bonus was due to vest) as a deadline for Seattle to work out a trade sending Smith elsewhere. With that option now off the table, the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year is on track to remain the Seahawks’ starter. New head coach Mike Macdonald declined to offer a firm commitment in that respect before the restructure, but general manager John Schneider‘s remarks downplayed the significance of the financial maneuvering.

“Other people made a bigger deal out of that than we did in the building,” the latter said, via Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic (subscription required). “Is he gonna be here? Is he not gonna be here?’ He was going to be here. It’s a matter of when are we going to tell him we’re doing this with his roster bonus?”

Schneider added that Smith, 33, is atop Seattle’s depth chart “until he’s not.” Backup Drew Lock is a pending free agent, but he is expected to seek out a starting gig on the open market. Part of the Russell Wilson trade package, Lock made only a pair of starts during his Seattle tenure, something which could hinder his market. Schneider is believed to have played a central role in having the former second-rounder included in the Wilson deal, so a re-up could still be in the cards. On the other hand, Seattle taking the draft route is something Schneider also touched on.

The 14-year GM noted that the team’s track record of selecting only two passers in his tenure is “not something that we’re necessarily proud of,” leaving open the door to a draft addition this April. Seattle did homework on the top passers in last year’s class before ultimately selecting cornerback Devon Witherspoon fifth overall. The team still has first-round needs on defense which outweigh the urgency to draft a Smith successor, especially given his current financial situation. While Schneider declined to give the two-time Pro Bowler a full endorsement, his remarks point further toward stability under center for 2024.

View Comments (1)