If Seahawks commit to Geno Smith next year, then they have to mean it
Could Seahawks trade for Zach Wilson? Seaside Joe 1360
To keep Seaside Joe’s Brendan Fraser theme going, the other day I was watching my BFF B.F. recount memories from some of his memorable roles. He must have felt that interview was a real blast from his past.
One such movie, that I seem to remember crashing with critics so to speak, but has taken on a new life as a cult classic, is Bedazzled. At its core, the premise is a “Monkey’s Paw situation” in which Fraser’s character gets seven wishes and finds out that there are no shortcuts in life without consequences. I haven’t seen Bedazzled since I rented it from Netflix (the actual DVD-in-your-mailbox version) so this may only be the great joke in the movie… but it is a GREAT joke.
Butler (in Spanish): “Good morning, Señor. Would you like something to eat?”
Fraser (in Spanish): “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t speak Spanish.”
(moment of realization)
Fraser (in Spanish): “Wait a minute! I am speaking Spanish!”
The protagonist of any monkey-paw scenario is always someone who wants the world but doesn’t want to pay or work for it. “I don’t want to learn Spanish. I want to know Spanish.”
The lesson being that if you want to skip the line, you’ll have to pay the price in some form or another. THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH.
I believe it is possible that through the magic of video games (I only ever used ‘dynasty mode’ when I played Madden because my only passion was building a franchise from the ground up into a Super Bowl champion, not the actual games) and the accessibility or sometimes obsession with fantasy football, that many NFL fans could feel like “FREE LUNCH” is always available to their favorite team.
Think of it like a GM in 2004 telling his head coach that he wanted to sign Terrell Owens and trade for Chad Johnson. Makes sense in theory, if those are only names on a sheet of paper. What offense wouldn’t want two Hall of Fame caliber wide receivers at the same time?
A savvy, but especially brave head coach would tell his general manager that such a situation is enticing… and also stupid as hell. T.O. and OchoCinco sounds like: “FREE LUNCH.” But will inevitably turn into: “MONKEY’S PAW.”
You can’t put those two egos on the same offense.
Such is the real situation facing the Seattle Seahawks when they sit down to the negotiating table with Geno Smith’s agent—after having studied all the quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft and pondered the options that could be available to them as developmental options in free agency and trade. You might think you want a Seahawks team that has Geno Smith and Drew Lock and Will Levis. Or just Smith and Levis. Or choose a different first round quarterback.
YOU: “Yummy, yummy. Food I don’t have to pay for!”
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I swear, not every day will be “What are the Seahawks going to do about Geno Smith” day. But the something interesting happened this week: The New York Jets benched Zach Wilson for Mike White. The backup on Sunday will be Joe Flacco, and Wilson will be inactive against the Bears.
Longtime readers of this newsletter will know how strong Joe’s affinity is for Wilson. Joe said that he got “chills” watching Wilson. Joe said he’d give up a boat for Wilson over Lamar Jackson. And only two days ago, Joe said he hadn’t stopped believing in Zach Wilson.
Hey, don’t blame me. Blame Joe!
It would probably make sense to you then that if the Jets eventually decide to trade Wilson (I find this unlikely) that Joe would want the Seahawks to give up whatever it takes to acquire him and to get his attention*.
*Probably Jennifer Coolidge’s phone number?
I’m afraid not. Again, this would be a FREE LUNCH. Assuming that Pete Carroll will exhaust every option that ends in Seattle keeping Geno Smith, then acquiring Wilson would be unfair to both quarterbacks. And it’s the wrong timing for both sides, too.
This past offseason, when we were discussing all the possible routes towards a franchise quarterback in 2023, Seaside Joe and Seahawks fans were under the impression that Geno and Drew Lock were equally bad. Now 10 games into the season, Geno is outright good and the only question about Lock is whether or not Pete could do the same magic trick in a few years if the former Bronco gets a couple extra campaigns as a backup under his belt.
The organization talked up Lock all offseason and Pete has continued that line of thought through the season, even though we haven’t seen a single rep from him yet. I think we should all be prepared for Geno and Lock to be the top-two quarterbacks on Seattle’s roster next year, with the caveat that seven games (and maybe the playoffs) is a LONG TIME in the NFL and a lot can change.
Seven games ago, the Jets were elated to be getting back Zach Wilson from a knee injury.
Asking the Seahawks to re-sign Geno and trade for Wilson falls right into the trap of a monkey’s paw. The days of trading for a young quarterback like Steve Young and then believing that he’s actually going to stick around for 4-5 years as a backup are simply not feasible in the modern NFL. Among current quarterbacking situations, Geno would be Exhibit A of why that won’t happen.
Remember, during Young’s first season in San Francisco, he started three games and threw 10 touchdowns with zero interceptions. If Wilson—or any QB—throws 10 touchdowns and no picks in relief of an entrenched starter, that player or the starter will be flipped to another team before you can say, “bedazzled!”
You: Great, that sounds awesome! What the hell are you on about that you don’t want this to happen?
Me: FREE LUNCH!
I have also made it well known that I believe that the Seahawks will absolutely draft a quarterback in 2023. Even in the first round, despite the fact that Pete Carroll has never been a part of a team that drafted a quarterback earlier than Russell Wilson’s place at #75 in 2012. And I’ve made it clear that it would be malpractice to not do a deep dive on the very top QB prospects in the draft, depending on where Seattle’s first pick lands.
If the Seahawks get the number two pick in the draft, for example, then they must be absolutely certain they are not passing on the next Patrick Mahomes, should they decide to bypass that opportunity for an elite QB prospect.
I still think that Seattle should do that and realistically, it’s already happening. Study for the 2023 NFL Draft started no later than 2020 for scouts and in the Seahawks’ case, they most certainly had an idea of what to expect in the future when they decided to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos. However, this is what has changed for me:
If Geno continues to play like he’s been playing + the Seahawks bring him back on a new contract = the Seahawks have to let go of the dream to draft a first round quarterback in 2023.
Some of you might be thinking, “But I did this in Madden and Seattle won six Super Bowls.” I’m not even saying that you’re wrong! Because you know what Seaside Joe would love more than anything in the world?
Grayson McCall. (Tricked you but—THIS COULD STILL HAPPEN!)
No, in an ideal world Geno Smith is fantastic, the Seahawks bring in a hot shot who is 10 years younger and a lot cheaper, Seattle competes for Super Bowls in 2023 and 2024, then trades Geno for a first round pick+ in 2025 to open up the door for the hotshot. I mean, great, right? What’s better than three hots and a cot without having to pull out a credit card?
But that’s only an ideal world for SEASIDE JOE. Did SEASIDE JOE ever ask what Geno, Lock, Wilson, McCall, Bryce Young, Levis, Anthony Richardson, etc. etc. etc. think?
Why would I do that? I get whatever I want.
In the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Geno wasn’t given an opportunity to start for any team in the NFL. Then in 2022, Pete was the first head coach since Todd Bowles to tell him that he had a legitimate chance to to start. Geno waited for his opportunity and he has seized the moment.
If Pete then turns around in 2023 and says, “We love you, but we also want to put this incredibly talented quarterback prospect behind you.” What does that say to Geno about the actual amount of respect that the Seahawks have for his game? If Geno replies to Pete in that situation and asks, “Who is this prospect that you are so in love with you want to draft him in the first round?” Pete can tell him…
“Oh don’t worry, you’ll know his name when Seahawks fans start chanting it at Lumen Field after your first interception this year.”
Similarly, there are still plenty of fans like Seaside Joe who believe that Zach Wilson is at least as good of a prospect as the majority of names you’ll hear called in the 2023 draft. If Seattle keeps Geno, loses Lock, and acquires a recent first round pick, is the situation so dissimilar? Jets report Connor Hughes believes that the team is only benching Wilson at this moment because he needs more time to develop and New York can’t waste this golden opportunity of being 6-4 by starting a QB who isn’t ready. A good team can’t rely on Wilson right now, but that doesn’t make Wilson a bad prospect. The Seahawks are also a good team, so they also can’t hand the offense over to Wilson any time soon.
But the mere presence of a quarterback prospect like Wilson or Young or Levis is simply incongruous with the notion that Geno Smith is now “good” and that the Seahawks are now “his team” if Seattle should re-sign him in 2023. There’s always the possibility that the Seahawks can’t come to a long-term agreement with Geno and they give him the franchise tag, however I also find that more unlikely than I would for a typical free agent quarterback.
My guess is that Geno does not want to be tagged. How would that benefit him? It wouldn’t. Yes, he would get $31 million guaranteed for one season of football, more than TWICE the amount he’s made in his entire career total. But if Geno finishes as a top-five quarterback, he knows he’s worth a lot more than that.
He’s not a 26-year-old quarterback, like Kirk Cousins when Washington tagged him in two consecutive years, who knows he’s got a lot of opportunities in the future to cash in. And he knows that if the Seahawks won’t commit, that other teams will. Teams like the New Orleans Saints, who don’t have a first round pick, don’t have a quarterback, and will probably be hiring a new head coach next year.
They could even interview Shane Waldron.
The Seahawks can give Geno the franchise tag without getting his permission. But does that strike you as a “Pete thing” to do? That doesn’t ring true to me at all.
In a world of free lunch, the Seahawks could bring back Geno for a “team-friendly” deal, draft Anthony Richardson out of Florida—this morning, Rob Staton released a mock draft with him going first overall—knowing that he’s got rare athletic traits but also needs a ton of time to develop without any pressure to play right away, a la Trey Lance, and find themselves in quarterback heaven.
But in the world that I live in, with people who have feelings and thoughts and reactions, not names that we move around our weekly lineups on a web browser or video game characters who have no choice in the matter, it just screams that Seattle would be asking for trouble.
Besides, the Seahawks can always keep Geno and Lock, then draft a quarterback late enough that nobody can feel him breathing down their neck. Or buy some time by attempting to trade one 2023 first round pick for a 2024 first round pick, like the Saints-Eagles swap earlier this year.
Grayson McCall está disponible el tercer día. Espera puedo escribir en español?!?! No, es solo traductor de Google.