Will Seahawks retain any other free agents before the market opens?
Can the Seahawks repeat one of the best QB values in history? 3/10/2023
Have you ever tried to think about what it must be like to be an NFL player that everybody—the media, the fans, and even your own teammates—have given up on? That’s an ongoing mindset, I believe, for at least 70-percent of current NFL quarterbacks. It’s not just backups who must struggle with this doubt, but plenty of the current and recent starters are also constantly “in question” at large.
Let’s take some 2022 starting quarterbacks for example: Mitch Trubisky, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Zach Wilson, Davis Mills, Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Trey Lance…
Oh and Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Derek Carr…
Maybe 70-percent was too low of an estimation.
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Now think of the remarkable transformation, mindset, fortitude, and determination that it took Geno Smith to go from the tier with guys like P.J. Walker and Chad Henne to the one with Carr and Cousins. Geno’s 2022 triumph is one example of how there are backup quarterbacks out there who get no respect from any of us (certainly there are plenty of examples directly from me from last offseason that showed I had no faith in his ability to do what he ultimately ended up doing), who end up proving that they have the ability and they never gave up on themselves.
Until Geno Smith, I must have just assumed that guys like Geno Smith “know who they are” and should accept themselves as backups; to embrace those roles so that they can be the best backups they can be!
Clearly that is not the case for most quarterbacks. The best backups have the mindset that they’re starters and only a set of unfortunate circumstances have stopped them from permanently holding those roles. To be fair, most of them are wrong.
But a few of them are right.
Last season’s “backups” included—on some level—Geno, Jalen Hurts (he could have easily been drafted into a situation where he’s backing up Wentz to this day), Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brock Purdy, Heinicke, Darnold, Cooper Rush, Bailey Zappe, and Mike White.
Some are good, some are okay, some won’t start again.
But some are good, right? And just like situation matters in the NFL Draft, a great setup for a backup quarterback can lead to a fruitful future for the team. There was no better bargain in the NFL last year than Geno and that was largely thanks to the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons that he spent backing up Russell Wilson. He had three years with the team, three starts, and was going into his second season with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
That’s experience that led to Geno vastly outplaying expectations and that’s a value that continues with the team-friendly contract he signed to remain in Seattle this week. If he’s good, it’s good for the team. If he’s bad, it’s good for the team. They can move on next year, no leftover baggage.
If Geno and the Seahawks could both mutually benefit to this degree based on his experiences as a cheap backup getting intimately familiar with a team and an offense, then why shouldn’t Seattle attempt to repeat history with Drew Lock?
The Seahawks have so far taken care of four outgoing free agents—Geno, Jason Myers, Nick Bellore, and Phil Haynes—and they have cut two (Gabe Jackson, Ben Burr-Kirven), with Austin Blythe also announcing his retirement. The most notable free agent left on their list and the one who could carry the most value moving forward if Seattle can keep him off of the market would be Lock.
A quarterback who has never struck anybody as a player who lacks confidence. That same mindset that carried Geno Smith through rough times in the media and with NFL fans is likely something that lives in Drew Lock too. Only four years ago, ESPN draft analysts expected that Lock could go as early as number 6 to the New York Giants and were stunned he fell out of the first round. Only 12 months ago, John Schneider expressed a belief that Lock is as good as any prospect in last year’s (admittedly weak) QB class. Only a month ago, Pete Carroll reiterated that Lock was nearly the starting quarterback over Geno.
You’re skeptical. I’m skeptical. You’ve been wrong before. I’ve been wrong…once. Literally once.
Will the Seattle Seahawks re-sign Lock, should they, and can they get it done before free agency opens next week? I will go over those questions as well as any other 2023 Seahawks free agents who might make sense to get signed before they can talk to the market. This is a Seaside Bonus article, join for only $5/month or $55 for an ENTIRE YEAR knowing that no other Seahawks writer is as consistent, profilic, or exhaustive.
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