Seahawks Rumors

Seahawks Notes: Smith, Lock, Myers, Draft

We heard recently that the Seahawks and quarterback Geno Smith have started contract talks. While general manager John Schneider indicated that negotiations haven’t gotten serious, he did express optimism that the organization would ultimately re-sign the QB. During an appearance on “The Ian Furness Show” on Sports Radio 93.3 KJR, Schneider said the team expects to agree to a new deal with Smith (via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times).

“I met with Geno on his exit interview, and we had a great talk,” the GM said. “He knows what the process is going to be. We’d love to have him back. He knows that. Like you said, he’d love to be back here as well.

“In terms of getting it done, it’s a process. Hope to get started here pretty quick. We have a little time here to kind of evaluate our team and get settled in. … We’ll get to it as soon as we can and try to do what’s best for Geno and try to do what’s best for the organization.”

Smith played out the 2022 season on a one-year, $3.5MM contract; incentives allowed him to double his earnings for the year. He will significantly outpace that figure on a new contract following a breakout campaign that saw him earn first career Pro Bowl nod.

More notes out of Seattle:

  • Smith isn’t the only Seahawks quarterback that’s set to hit free agency, as Drew Lock‘s contract will also expire. While the trade acquisition had to settle in as a backup during his first season with the organization, Schneider said the front office is still interested in bringing him back. “Yeah we’d love to,” Schnieder said during his radio appearance (via Condotta). “We think that’d be the ideal situation.”
  • The Seahawks recently signed kicker Jason Myers to a contract extension, and ESPN’s Brady Henderson passed along some details on the new pact (via Twitter). The four-year, $21.1MM deal includes a $7.5MM signing bonus and can max out at $22.6MM. The veteran will earn a fully guaranteed $1.165MM base salary in 2023, an injury-guaranteed $3.635MM in 2024 (becomes full guarantee on fifth day of 2024 league year), and non-guaranteed base salaries of $4.2MM in 2025 and $4.6MM in 2026.
  • Henderson tweeted out some helpful insight in anticipation of the Seahawks’ offseason. While many publications show that Seattle owns nine draft picks in the upcoming draft, Henderson notes that the organization actually has 10 selections. The confusion stems from last year’s John Reid trade, with the reporter noting that the Seahawks ultimately didn’t have to give up a seventh-round pick in the deal.
  • Three Seahawks players were named as finalists for key Associated Press awards. Smith is a finalist for Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year, while running back Kenneth Walker III and cornerback Tariq Woolen were finalists for AP Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year (respectively).

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spins, many of the league’s offensive and defensive coordinator positions are open as well. Teams seeking new head coaches will soon begin OC and DC searches — some have already started those processes — but a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

The Browns and Patriots have begun 2023’s coordinator hires. Here are the rest of the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 1-26-23 (10:06pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Carolina Panthers 

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

Dolphins To Interview Vic Fangio, Kris Richard, Sean Desai For DC

Vic Fangio will interview for a third defensive coordinator position during this year’s cycle. The Dolphins’ previously rumored interest will produce a meeting.

Miami is set for interviews with Fangio, Seahawks assistant Sean Desai and Saints co-DC Kris Richard, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Fangio and Desai worked together with the Bears, while Richard has been a fixture in defensive coordinator searches in recent offseasons. The Fangio and Desai meetings will occur Wednesday.

Richard, 43, re-emerged as a DC after four seasons on the position coach level. The Saints promoted the veteran staffer to that role, placing him alongside Ryan Nielsen in a rarely utilized co-DC arrangement. The former Seahawks DC had spent time under Rod Marinelli as the Cowboys’ secondary coach from 2018-19 and caught on with the Saints as their DBs coach in 2021. Richard is best known for his time in Seattle, however. He served as the Legion of Boom’s position coach and later Seattle’s DC during that unit’s heyday, and the Seahawks of that period became the first team to lead the NFL in scoring defense in four straight years since the 1950s Browns.

This garnered Richard some HC interest back in the late 2010s — which included a 2019 Dolphins interview — but nothing materialized. The Saints have ranked in the top 10 defensively in each of Richard’s two years with the team, though Dennis Allen has overseen both those units. The Panthers have also spoken to Richard about a meeting. Nielsen has come up as a candidate — in Atlanta and Minnesota — as well, so New Orleans faces the possibility of losing both its DCs this offseason. Desai, the Bears’ DC in 2021, also received an interview request from the Vikings.

Fangio has interviewed for the Falcons and Panthers’ positions thus far but came up in connection to the Dolphins gig soon after it became available. He is believed to be the lead candidate, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets, with ESPN’s Jeff Darlington noting (via Twitter) Fangio and Mike McDaniel share an agent and have a good relationship.

Fangio, 64, did not last too long in his HC opportunity with the Broncos, though his three-year Denver tenure was the longest since John Fox‘s, but the longtime defensive staffer was long believed to be a hot candidate to return to a full-time role as a DC. That is coming to fruition. Fangio’s options could soon include a return to the 49ers, with the team being connected to rehiring him in the event DeMeco Ryans departs.

Ravens Request Interview With Seahawks’ Dave Canales For OC

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters this week that the franchise will “cast a wide net” for what he considers to be “one of the top football coaching jobs in the world,” according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. The team has followed through on that promise thus far, continuing a trend today as they made their third request to interview a candidate in the past two days. This time, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that the target is Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales.

Canales is a longtime Seattle staffer who has spent his entire life on the west coast. Growing up and schooling in California, Canales took the progressive steps from high school coordinator to community college position coach to Power Five strength coach all within a five-year period.

He left his position at USC, following then-head coach Pete Carroll, to join the Seahawks as a wide receivers coach in 2010. Canales stayed in the position for eight years before moving to the quarterbacks room. After two seasons as quarterbacks coach, Canales was granted the title of passing game coordinator for two years before going back to the quarterbacks coaching position this season.

As the Seahawks’ quarterbacks coach, Canales ensured the seamless transition from one Pro Bowl quarterback to another. Working closely with quarterback Geno Smith, who had started five games in the previous six seasons, Canales coached Smith to a career year in the quarterback’s ninth season. During Smith’s first two seasons in the NFL, his only two as a full-time starter prior to this year, Smith had a paltry completion percentage of 57.5 and threw more interceptions (34) than touchdowns (25). This year, under Canales, Smith led the NFL with a completion percentage of 69.8 and was the only quarterback in the league to throw 30 or more touchdowns while tossing less than 12 interceptions.

The move to Baltimore may be a bit of a culture shock for the longtime westerner, but the Ravens would be rewarding him with a promotion to coordinator and the keys to an offense with an MVP quarterback if he gets the position. Lamar Jackson, while still completing a respectable 62.3-percent of his passes this year, finished the season with his lowest completion percentage since his rookie year. He has also seen his QBR plummet ever since his league-leading 83.0 rating during his MVP campaign. Bringing in a coach who has experience with a mobile quarterback like Russell Wilson and helped develop a veteran passer like Smith could be just what the doctor ordered in Baltimore.

For now, Canales is one of many coaches expected to fall under the widely cast net as Harbaugh and the Ravens look to fill one of the top football coaching jobs in the world. The team has also recently requested meetings with Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson and Browns wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea. There is likely to be several more names in consideration as Harbaugh, Jackson, and company decide who will best help them to take the next step.

Seahawks Sign K Jason Myers To Extension

Jason Myers is staying in Seattle. The Seahawks announced on Twitter that they’ve signed their kicker to an extension.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that it’s a four-year extension worth $21.1MM. The deal can max out at $22.6MM based on incentives. Myers was set to hit free agency in March but will now be sticking with the Seahawks through the 2026 campaign. In terms of total value, the $21.1MM contract will trail only Younghoe Koo ($24.25MM), Justin Tucker ($24MM), and Jason Sanders ($22MM) at the position, while the $5.25MM average annual value is second to Tucker ($6MM).

Following a three-year stint with the Jaguars and a Pro Bowl season with the Jets, Myers inked a four-year, $15.45MM deal with the Seahawks in 2019. During his four years with the organization, he’s connected on 87.5 percent of his field goal attempts and 93.5 percent of his extra point tries. Myers also connected on 37 straight field goals between 2019 and 2021, the fourth-longest streak in NFL history.

Myers made his second career Pro Bowl appearance in 2022. He ended up converting 34 of his 37 field goal attempts and 41 of his 42 extra point attempts. He also contributed five points during Seattle’s playoff loss to the 49ers.

NFC West Notes: Rams, Hopkins, Seahawks

Coming off disappointing seasons, the Cardinals and Rams may be looking to make high-profile cost cuts. DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey may well be available in trades, with the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora noting deals involving the two former All-Pros will come down to “when” and they are moved and not “if.” Both Ramsey and Hopkins have already been traded, each moving from the AFC South to the NFC West — Ramsey in 2019 and Hopkins in 2020. Although Ramsey required two first-round picks to be pried from Jacksonville, La Canfora adds neither player should be expected to bring in the kind of haul fans would anticipate.

Both talents are signed to lucrative extensions. Ramsey’s five-year, $100MM deal (which set the cornerback market in 2020) runs through 2025. Hopkins’ $27.25MM contract runs through 2024. Ramsey, 28, should be expected to command more in a trade compared to Hopkins, 30. Coming off a suspension- and injury-limited 2022, latter has been rumored to be a possible trade chip. Several teams called the Cardinals on Hopkins at the deadline. Ramsey, however, has been a dependable piece in L.A. His exit would leave the Rams vulnerable at corner, considering they have rotated low-cost pieces around Ramsey at the position for years.

A Ramsey trade before June 1 is not especially palatable for the Rams, who are again projected to enter the offseason over the cap. Dealing the All-Pro talent after that date, however, would save the team $17MM. The Rams having not restructured Ramsey’s deal makes a trade something to monitor, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes (subscription required). Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • This season’s Rams staff did not particularly appeal to Sean McVay by season’s end, Peter King of NBC Sports notes. Upon returning, McVay is expected to make staff changes. This may have been behind the Rams’ call to allow their position coaches to interview for other jobs without the threat of blocking the meeting. Whatever the reason, the Rams’ staff should look different in 2023. McVay also likely has a bit of regret of not taking a major TV job last year, per King, who adds no top-level gig was on the table for the six-year Rams HC this year.
  • The Rams will attempt to extend one of their UFA-to-be D-line starters (A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines), Rodrigue adds, but probably will not keep both. A former sixth-round pick who has started for the past two seasons, Gaines appears likelier — per Rodrigue — to be the team’s higher priority. Robinson’s expected market value could price out the Rams, who have Aaron Donald making a cool $10MM more than any other interior D-lineman.
  • Jamal Adams, who suffered a torn quad tendon in Week 1, remains without a timetable, Pete Carroll said this week. Jordyn Brooks‘ ACL surgery is scheduled for Friday. The late-season ACL tear will make top Seahawks tackler a candidate to begin next season on the PUP list. Surgery could be in the cards for tight end Will Dissly, but he will first attempt to rehab his knee injury without a procedure (Twitter links via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta).
  • Despite issues in the first season under DC Clint Hurtt, the Seahawks are planning neither staff changes nor a move back to a 4-3 defense, Carroll said. Seattle, which brought in Hurtt and ex-Bears DC Sean Desai to install a Vic Fangio-style scheme, finished outside the top 20 in yards, points and DVOA this season.
  • The second-team All-Pro nod 49ers special-teamer George Odum received will increase his 2023 base salary by $250K, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Odum, who signed with the 49ers in 2022 after a Colts tenure, will also collect a $250K incentive for the All-Pro nod. Odum led the league with 21 special teams tackles. Attached to a three-year deal worth $5.7MM, Odum has become one of the NFL’s best special-teamers. He earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 2020.

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/17/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Seahawks, Geno Smith Begin Contract Talks

The Seahawks enjoyed a surprising level of success this season, with their transition to Geno Smith under center leading to a postseason berth and massively boosting the veteran’s free agent value. Both parties have already begun the process of negotiating a new contract which will keep him in Seattle.

Head coach Pete Carroll confirmed that “preliminary talks” have been held between the Seahawks and Smith. The latter won out the team’s preseason QB competition (something he was not expected to do), and wound up playing every snap of the season en route to a Pro Bowl nod and multiple franchise passing records. His performance in Seattle’s Wild-Card loss to San Francisco – in which he committed two turnovers – did not dissuade the team from attempting to keep him in 2023 and beyond.

“He had an excellent game for us in that game,” Carroll said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times“And even though the turnovers happened… he played really well just to show you again that he’s on it and we got our guy. We need to hopefully work things out so he’s with us… There’s business to be done there, of course. But there’s really no lid to what we can do. The sky’s the limit. That, along with returning him with his leadership factor that he had, he’s a big deal to us, and I just couldn’t be more tickled by the way the whole thing turned out and how he handled it. And really as we look to the future, he’s a big part of why we look to the future more promisingly.”

Smith played out the 2022 season on a one-year, $3.5MM contract; incentives allowed him to double his earnings for the year. He will significantly outpace that figure on a new contract of any kind this offseason, though his uninspiring stint as a starter with the Jets, and the years spent strictly as a backup which followed, make the 32-year-old an interesting case study. Seattle also has the option of using the franchise tag to keep in him place on a one-year deal (or at least extend the window to continue negotiations into July).

Talks between the sides come against the backdrop of backup Drew Lock also heading into free agency. The former Broncos second-rounder was expected to win the summer QB competition, but wound up sitting the entire campaign due to Smith’s success. Carroll doubled down on his compliments of Lock, repeating that he hopes to have the 26-year-old back in the Emerald City next year.

By virtue of the Russell Wilson trade, however, Seattle owns the fifth overall pick in the upcoming draft. That could provide the team with an opportunity to land a long-term answer at the position, something which may be less likely now than it would have seemed before the campaign. Carroll nevertheless called this year’s class of passers “extraordinary” and acknowledged the rarity of having the draft capital the team currently does as it relates to drafting franchise QBs.

Regardless of the Seahawks’ plans down the road, their ability to keep Smith under contract for at least 2023 is shaping up to be their top offseason priority. Their success in the negotiations to come will likely dictate their other moves in free agency and the draft.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Geno Smith

With the Seahawks’ season now over, attention will turn away from the team’s surprising trip to the playoffs and towards an offseason filled with questions at the quarterback position. Geno Smith played his way into a significant raise in 2023, but whether he will remain in Seattle will be a key storyline.

Smith, 32, flamed out as the Jets’ starter after two seasons in New York. That span was followed by six straight campaigns spent as a backup, the role he was expected to remain in for the duration of his NFL career. His play while briefly filling in for Russell Wilson in 2021 made it unsurprising that he was brought back on a one-year deal this past offseason, but the base value of that contract ($3.5MM) made the team’s intentions clear.

It was former Bronco Drew Lock – part of the package Denver sent Seattle in the blockbuster Wilson trade – who was expected to earn the No. 1 spot over the course of the summer. Instead, Smith won out the training camp competition, and quickly rewarded the Seahawks for putting their trust in him. By Week 6, it was reported that a full-time commitment to the West Virginia alum could be in the cards.

Smith generally continued his impressive play throughout the season, one in which the Seahawks were able to clinch the NFC’s final playoff spot during Week 18 despite expectations being tempered considerably in the wake of Wilson’s (and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner’s) absence. Smith led the league in completion percentage (69.8%), throwing for a franchise-record 4,282 yards along the way. His performance earned him a Pro Bowl nod and allowed him to double his earnings through incentives. That $7MM price tag will surely be comfortably exceeded in free agency – something the veteran is acutely aware of.

“Football is a business,” Smith said prior to today’s 41-23 loss to the 49ers, via ESPN’s Brady Henderson“A lot of people have a lot of decisions to make, and that’s where I’ll leave it at. I feel great about where I stand with this organization and my teammates and everybody else, but it’s always a business first. So I look at it like that. I understand that, and I’ve got to handle my business as well.”

The Seahawks currently rank in the top-five in the league in terms of 2023 cap space after transitioning to a younger core at most positions. That has them well-positioned to absorb a new deal for Smith carrying a significant raise, but it could also pave the way for a contract keeping Lock in the Emerald City for the short- or medium-term future. Head coach Pete Carroll routinely praised the 26-year-old upon his arrival, despite his underwhelming tenure with the Broncos. Lock is also a pending UFA, though his market will be clouded by having sat as Smith’s backup all season.

In any event, the Seahawks have reportedly been convinced by Smith’s performance to commit to him on a new contract. An alternative, especially in light of his unique rise back to a starter’s role after years as a No. 2, could be a franchise or transition tag, which Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirms is a real possibility (video link). Where Smith’s next deal comes from – and what form it takes – will certainly be worth watching over the coming weeks.

For what it’s worth, Smith himself said after the ‘Hawks wildcard round loss to the 49ers that he wants to finish his career in Seattle and that he expects to be back with the team in 2023 (via Henderson).

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/13/23

Today’s minor moves, including elevations made for Saturday’s playoff games:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks