A Geno Smith-Seahawks contract that actually does make sense
Why OPTIONS matter more than SALARY: Seaside Joe 1418
Math has always been a tricky subject for me. I often fell behind in school once teachers got past arithmetic, but ironically I love numbers and I’m an incredible—like elite-level—guesstimater. Anything in the add/subtract/multiple/divide category and I’m your man; anyone holding a ‘guess how many beans in the jar’ contest better watch the F out if I’m anywhere close by.
And that guesstimation not only extends to NFL contracts, like accurately predicting DK Metcalf’s deal months before it was official, I am especially strong in this area because having followed free agency and extensions for the last 15 years I know that there is a lot less negotiation than you think. There’s a strong record of what players will be paid today based on what similar players were paid yesterday, so there’s even less guessing in NFL contracts than there are in jelly bean jars.
What players and agents are actually negotiating is not necessarily how much they should be paid, but how good they are as players; what category they fit into. Then once that is agreed upon, the contract amounts are practically pre-determined with the next round of negotiations falling on contract language and how the figures will be paid out.
Geno Smith’s agent has a job and it’s not to get Geno Smith the most money. It’s to prove to NFL teams that Geno Smith is a franchise quarterback of a certain caliber…and then the money follows.
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My guess: Geno wants to prove he’s at least as good as Dak Prescott ($95 million fully guaranteed at signing in 2021). And the Seahawks will want to prove that he’s much closer to a Derek Carr ($25 million fully guaranteed at signing in 2022).
There’s the grain behind today’s bread and I’m showing you all my secrets: We should know what kind of a contract Geno Smith will get once we agree on what kind of a quarterback the NFL will value him as being.
There is a caveat there, which is that NFL contracts by nature must evolve and shift in unprecedented ways based on the ongoing give-and-take between players and owners (Steve Hutchinson’s “poison pill” being one example, Deshaun Watson’s fully-guaranteed 2022 extension as another), and I’ve already argued that I think Geno Smith should consider taking a discount to stay with the Seahawks. This wasn’t to “trick” Geno into staying in Seattle for only the benefit of the Seahawks, it was a suggestion based on the number of QBs who have tanked their careers by relocating, just as we’ve seen with countless players at every position; the only reason it seems shocking to say that about QBs is that we are living in a new era of football in which QBs relocate mid-prime.
However, it is most likely that Geno Smith wants to strike while his iron is hot for the first (and potentially the last) time.
This is a contract proposal that I think most other Seahawks writers/fans are overlooking that satisfies both parties and is based on recent contract history that makes complete sense for Geno. That’s why you have done yourself a great service by subscribing to Seaside Joe; consider telling Seahawks fans about us and supporting the Joe with only $55/year or $5/month.
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