Geno Smith contract projections: 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years
How the Seahawks keep Geno for certain lengths of time and how it impacts the salary cap: Seaside Joe 1442
Here’s the entire crux of the argument for and against the Seattle Seahawks keeping Geno Smith and there’s really nothing else to it: Either you believe that the best move that the Seahawks made in 2022 was trading Russell Wilson and handing the QB reins over to Geno Smith as a diamond in the rough OR you believe that the key to Seattle’s success was trading Wilson and handing over the starting quarterback job to anybody who was willing to do it at a fraction of the cost.
Is the key specifically Geno or is it the fact that Geno was paid $3.5 million against the salary cap which is less than Mason Rudolph, Taylor Heinicke, and Mac Jones, thereby allowing the Seahawks financial room to build out a roster apart from just getting the quarterback paid? Because the Seahawks have to choose between Geno and the roster if reports of his expected value on the market are true.
As I wrote a week ago, the Seattle Seahawks are going to run into financial roadblocks that prevent them from both signing Geno Smith to a contract in 2023 and keeping all of the free agents/not releasing players who Pete Carroll by all accounts would want to keep. This does not mean the Seahawks will definitely lose Geno Smith. This does not mean that the Seahawks will definitely lose all those other free agents and potential cap casualties.
It means that a year after salary cap Tetris left Bobby Wagner on the cutting room floor, Seattle is once again having to make difficult financial decisions just to field a competitive 53-man roster and practice squad for next season.
The following Geno Smith contract projections are based on the premise that the Seahawks are willing to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. If the Seahawks are actually not willing to do that, then it requires new estimates based on the potential offers he receives on the free agent market and surely Geno’s agent will use those projections in any long-term negotiations with Seattle’s front office.
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But the willingness to give Geno Smith the non-exclusive franchise tag for a quarterback in 2023 serves as the baseline for any negotiations at one year and at two years, which then continues to project down the line. The longer the contract, the lower the cap hits in the first years of the deal, and the easier to keep those players who Pete Carroll wants to keep. But also the longer the commitment to Geno Smith as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback.