Why it’s OK to debate Geno Smith’s contract situation

January 23rd, 2023 | Written by Rob Staton

What does the future hold for Geno Smith?

I wanted to write about Geno Smith’s contract situation today, inspired by a couple of conversations I had on Twitter.

One was a productive bounce-around involving Joe Fann, Lance Zierlein, Adam Nathan and Corbin Smith. Views were exchanged, disagreements aired and nobody fell out. Rumour has it this is the first time this has happened on Twitter since 2017…

The other was a typical exchange. A Seahawks fan saw someone challenge the idea that Smith should be paid handsomely without a second thought to any alternative. He went through the typical Twitter playbook. First stage, undermine your opponent and try to portray them as irrational for having a different view. Secondly — when that’s called out — suggest they’re being overly sensitive. Finally, when that doesn’t work, suggest the person you disagree with has mental health problems.

Oh Twitter, what did we do to deserve you?

For some reason a large section of the fan base takes personal offence to the idea of not paying Smith a hefty contract.

A community member called ‘Tatupu Time’ posted the following in the comments section earlier, discussing how the discourse usually goes:

The conversation starter…

We might be able to get a QB that is as good as (or better than) Geno with an annual cost savings of over $20M a year that we can invest in the trenches. The Seahawks should consider that if they feel they can draft a QB that fits that criteria.

The response:

“I’ve determined none of the rookie QB’s fit that mould based on what we are reading in the media and based on the two games we actually watched of the QB”

“You have mental health issues if you think they should consider that”

“Geno was great in 2022. Let’s invest 4x as much in him per year and not consider the potential for some slight or severe regression.”

“The Seahawks may take a minor step back in 2023 if they replace Geno. I think they can contend in 2023 if they cut existing players, pay Geno and replace with draft picks. I don’t care about what’s best for 2024-2025.”

“Jalen Carter will instantly upgrade our defence on his own starting in week one.”

I’m sure many will say this is an unfair portrayal of a lot of arguments. Perhaps so. I have to say though, this isn’t a million miles away from what I’ve experienced.

My position hasn’t changed since writing this article on December 30th. I’m very open to going quarterback or D-line at #5. If John Schneider thinks a quarterback is worthy of the fifth pick, he should take him. We should have some faith in a GM who appears to have a good eye for the position.

For that same reason — if he passes over the quarterbacks and takes a defensive lineman — Schneider equally warrants some faith for making that choice.

Let’s at least talk about the options though. Some people don’t even want to consider the possibility of not paying Geno Smith a $30m contract.

While watching Dak Prescott yesterday I couldn’t help but feel like this was a big old warning sign for the Seahawks.

Fourth-round rookie Prescott was a revelation. The Cowboys had struck gold — finding a viable starter at the most important position on day three of the draft.

Expectations were low, excitement high and most importantly — the price was non-existent. The scouts look like geniuses. Other teams are jealous. It’s a great place to be — we know, because we lived through it with Russell Wilson.

Yet as we see — the moment you go from fairytale ‘against the odds’ story to ‘incredibly expensive franchise quarterback’ — everything changes. The conversation today is all about whether Prescott is good enough to lead the Cowboys to a Championship. His contract, worth $40m a year, includes a 2023 cap hit of $49m — with no escape for the team.

Dallas are paying a kings ransom for a player who looks average — at least when compared to someone like Joe Burrow who is clearly the real deal and will likely justify whatever massive salary is coming his way in the next 6-12 months.

The Cowboys aren’t alone. Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr are among the highest paid quarterbacks in the league. Ryan Tannehill isn’t far behind.

Indeed Tannehill is a relevant talking point for the Seahawks.

When the Titans brought him to Tennessee via trade, it was a shot to nothing. Merely competition for Marcus Mariota. He won the job and excelled — helping the Titans make an improbable playoff run and earning a big new contract.

Nobody quibbled about the contract because it was said to be ‘well earned’. Yet it wasn’t really considered whether it could cause issues if Tannehill was unable to continue performing at his pre-extension level.

In the years that followed, Tennessee had to restructure Tannehill’s deal twice because the cost became prohibitive, even though he’s ‘only’ earning $29.5m per year. As a consequence, his three-year deal evolved into a four-year contract. Meanwhile, the Titans haven’t won a single playoff game since he re-signed.

There are two problems at play here. One is the quarterback market, which has exploded. The other is more troublesome. It’s the comfort teams find in mediocrity versus risk.

For example, why do the Vikings keep paying to extend Cousins’ contract?

He puts up decent regular season numbers. His PFF grade in 2022 (79.3) is identical to Geno Smith’s. Last season, he even recorded a brilliant 88.2 grade.

We all know what he is though. He’s incapable of leading a team to the promise land. He’s a neat and tidy player and nothing more.

Minnesota keeps him — now on a $35m salary — because the alternative is the unknown. Could be better, could be worse. Better to be middling and comfortable, while hoping somehow a better situation falls into your lap (eg drafting Kellen Mond in round three). Or you never know, maybe Cousins will eventually do something he’s shown in an 11-year career he’s unable to do?

The Vikings don’t want to take a risk. They don’t want to trade up for a rookie or try and find an upgrade through a calculated trade or free agent addition.

So they settle for average and expensive, never getting any closer to actually winning anything that matters.

It’s somewhat understandable because they never pick early enough to get within touching distance of the top quarterbacks.

The Seahawks are different though. They have the #5 pick.

I suspect, in a similar situation, Minnesota would think long and hard about dumping Cousins to go the rookie route. Seattle should think the same way.

This is the point where someone will no doubt point out that Geno Smith is superior to Cousins. It’s hard to make that argument off the back of one decent season in an otherwise journeyman career. Admittedly at times Smith flashed physical tools that Cousins simply doesn’t have. He made throws that sparkled during Seattle’s 9-8 regular season run.

There are still issues though that both players suffer from.

Cousins had 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2022, while Smith had 30 touchdowns and 11 picks.

Hugh Millen raised an interesting point on KJR on Friday. He pointed to a stat provided by PFF listing ‘turnover worthy plays’ by each quarterback. Smith had the second most in the NFL, just behind Josh Allen. Millen also pointed out that Allen had far more ‘explosive’ passing plays and a lot more rushing yards to compensate for his erraticism.

Building on the point, he then noted that when looking at the top-10 quarterbacks — on average 80.6% of their turnover worthy plays had resulted in actual turnovers. In comparison, Geno Smith saw only 48% of his turnover worthy plays actually result in an interception.

That’s staggering.

If he’d thrown the 80.6% average like the rest of the QB’s in the top-10, he would’ve had 25 picks. Even if he’d had a still well below average 65% — he would’ve led the league in turnovers.

I’m not even sure if this accounts for stuff like the pick-six against San Francisco in Seattle which was called back for a fortuitous penalty. That play was blown dead, after all. So it could be even worse than these numbers suggest.

Regardless, Smith had incredible luck when it came to turnovers this season.

The Seahawks had by far one of the easiest schedules in 2022 (just look at the comparison to teams like the Lions, Giants and Commanders). Next year, the schedule looks trickier — especially on the road.

If those turnover worthy plays result in a more predictable number of actual turnovers, what then?

How will people react if Smith is earning as much as $30-35m a year instead of the $7m he earned in 2022, if he’s throwing 15-20 interceptions?

With the QB market going through the roof recently, the second tier of quarterbacks have gone along for the ride. Everyone is being a paid a lot more at that position. A contract of $30m is now seen as par for the course. It’s viewed as the going rate.

The problem is, that’s still a lot of money. It’s just not a lot of money compared to the contracts being paid to Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson — both of which are nearer $50m. Compared to very good players at other positions, it’s a princely sum. Trent Williams earns $23m a year as a top-paid left tackle. Jalen Ramsey gets $20m a year from the Rams.

Teams pay these QB contracts because the fear of being ‘bad’ outweighs the fear of being ‘mediocre and expensive’. If the Seahawks pay Smith a big extension, they run the risk of being another team who can be good but not great.

I appreciate there’s another side of the argument though. Smith was the least of Seattle’s worries in 2022. The defense was truly awful and they didn’t beat anyone up in the trenches on either side of the ball.

Some people say that if you spend your draft picks properly this year, you might start to close the gap — creating an environment where Smith can thrive.

I still think you need to be able to blend smart drafting with dynamic free agent additions. For that, you need money.

Look at the Bengals. Their defense is able to perform to the level it has been because they wisely invested $28m a year in two free agent defensive linemen — Trey Hendrickson and D.J. Reader.

Those two players cost the same as Geno Smith, essentially.

Makes you think, right?

I need to keep stressing that the Seahawks don’t have as much cap space as people think. The current projection from OverTheCap is they only have $19.3m in effective cap space. They don’t have the money to re-sign Smith, fill out their roster and then add some key free agents. Bold decisions are required here.

The Bengals can sign Hendrickson and Reader because they’re paying Joe Burrow $9m a year on his rookie contract. Not only that, they were able to go out and sign a whole new offensive line a year ago — splurging to improve the trenches.

The minute the Seahawks commit to Smith — they take away the opportunity to do what the Bengals have done. I accept that Burrow is also a big factor and his presence likely elevates everyone playing for Cincinnati. I don’t think it’s improbable, however, that the young quarterbacks in this draft can’t be good starters even if they don’t reach Burrow’s level.

Extend Smith and you’re left to rely on the draft to upgrade your roster alone. That’s fine but with growing pains and the unpredictable nature of rookies coming into the league, this might deliver an unsatisfactory outcome.

Above all else — I’m just not sure keeping Smith is worth losing out on such an opportunity to build up your roster. Even those who want him back seem unable to state, clearly, that they think he can win you a Super Bowl. And that’s the point of this, right?

I was listening to Brock & Salk today and this is an exchange (brilliantly handled by Mike Salk, by the way) with a caller called Austin who rang in to argue why the Seahawks should pay Smith:

Salk: “Can you win a Super Bowl with Geno Smith?”

Austin: “I think you have a better shot at it than with Drew Lock”

Salk: “Let me ask you the question again… don’t answer a different question, answer my question”

Austin: “Ok”

Salk: “Can you win a Super Bowl, paying Geno Smith over $30m?”

Austin: *Five seconds of silence*

Salk: “Your silence speaks volumes”

Again this is the point right? It’s to build a roster to win a Super Bowl. Perhaps that won’t happen this year or next. But the objective is to set it up. It isn’t to just retain players at great cost who arguably won’t get you there, simply because the alternative is less appealing on paper or carries a greater unknown.

The ideal scenario — which I’ve spoken about a lot — is to re-create the Alex Smith/Patrick Mahomes situation. The Chiefs used Smith as a bridge, got their quarterback of the future and passed the torch when Mahomes was ready.

Smith helped Kansas City win as a starter and when it was time to move on, eventually got the Chiefs a third round pick and a good cornerback via a trade to Washington.

It would be win-win for the Seahawks to set-up a similar situation. However, that would require Smith taking a ‘bridge’ salary. I don’t believe $30m is the right price for a bridge. Therefore, you have to set your bar low and stick to it. If Smith wants more — and if he’s actually offered more — you need to be prepared to move on.

If that means Drew Lock has to be your bridge instead for a fraction of the price, so be it.

Again though, it comes down to how you judge the quarterbacks in the draft. Admittedly I believe there are four really good ones who, with the information we have today, will go in the top-10.

If the Seahawks simply disagree with that — or if the player they really like isn’t available — it possibly changes things. Even then, I wouldn’t advocate paying Smith so much that it prevents you properly delivering phase two of what many considered to be a significant rebuild a year ago.

Is he capable of leading you to the promise land? If not, are you better off saving money and investing it in your overall roster? Is the 2023 equivalent of adding Hendrickson and Reader to your D-line a better bet than keeping Geno Smith?

It’s at least worthy of a conversation, isn’t it?

I still think the bridge plan has to be considered. Perhaps it’s a Dorian Thompson-Robinson (who I like a lot) in the middle rounds instead? It could be you trust the scheme you keep saying is ‘QB friendly’ and see if Lock can be the answer (a bit of advice though — sign him to a two-year deal just in case he has a Smith-esque 2023 season). There are options. It’s not Geno Smith or we riot. At least it shouldn’t be.

A final point. Let’s not forget how ruthless the Seahawks have been recently.

Trading Russell Wilson. Cutting Bobby Wagner to save money.

They then set up a plan that appeared to be teeing up a cheap quarterback (rookie?) contract in 2023. Otherwise they wouldn’t have used up so much of their 2023 cap space, going from around $50-60m available to just $19m before the 2022 season has even ended.

Nobody expected to be talking about paying Geno Smith $30m a year. If the Seahawks thought that was likely, they wouldn’t have signed him to just a one-year contract worth $3.5m with incentives.

Is a good season of Geno Smith — or, more accurately, a great half-season and a so-so half-season — worth throwing out whatever grand plan they had when they dealt Wilson? There’s no way they weren’t acutely aware of the 2023 quarterback class when they made that deal.

We need to have these conversations and it’s good to see many different people in the media are having them.

It was a bit bizarre, though, to see people comparing Smith’s performance against San Francisco to Dak Prescott’s and trying to form an argument it ‘made him money’. After all — he had the same number of turnovers as Prescott and lost three times to the 49ers (all convincing defeats).

A quick reminder that even Wilson and the Broncos beat the Niners this season. So did the Bears. Seattle never came close and I doubt any team — including the Seahawks — are going to see anything in the Prescott comparison and think they need to pay Geno for what he showed against the NFC’s most talented defense.

That’s what this might come down to frankly. Smith’s best fit is in Seattle. I’m not sure other teams will be busting a gut to lure him away. I don’t think he’s going to have the market some people think.

The deadline to use the franchise tag is March 7th. The NFL combine finishes the day before, on March 6th.

Teams use the combine as a place to tamper on the down-low, establish free agent markets and set up deals. The Seahawks will know by the tag deadline what Smith’s market is. They will have all the information they need to determine whether he’s going to get anywhere close to the $32.4m guaranteed the tag promises him.

They’ll then be able to make a call on whether to walk away, play the long game or use the tag.

My guess is there’s a contract to be done. I don’t think the market will be great. A bridge contract will be signed. The Seahawks will have the flexibility to add some free agents if the right opportunity emerges (I hope they ‘make’ it emerge to be honest) and they’ll have the freedom to go quarterback or D-line at #5.

I also think they’ll be prepared to move on if needs be — and rightly so.

Until then, let’s keep the debate flowing. It’s not an insult or disloyal to Geno Smith to discuss the pro’s and con’s of a contract extension. It’s simply football.

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251 Responses to “Why it’s OK to debate Geno Smith’s contract situation”

  1. Mr Magic says:

    The real question here is what sort of market away is there for Geno? What teams may care to pay him anywhere close to 30mln?

    I look at these last string of big qb deals and they are horrific. I wonder if teams have turned the corner on that, perhaps the stratospheric rise in QB pay will come down now after almost every one of these deals has ended in disaster. The FOUR highest paid QBs in the game didn’t even make the playoffs. lets also not forget some other good vet QBs will be available in Tom Brady and D Carr. Maybe even Lamar Jackson.

    LV I dont see em moving on from Carr to Geno. Atl seems to like Rider-Mariotta for now. Carolina I see going in the draft. Jets would be possible but there is bad history there. Giants will keep Jones.

    So go team by team, who really would step up for Geno? I did wonder about Tampa Bay. They can create a bit of room with Brady moving on and have the chips to compete in their view. Could they consider Geno?

    • Demitrov says:

      I wonder what the cost foe Brady would be? I mean if you want a bridge QB can you do better than him if you’re trying teach a rookie QB the ropes and accept you ain’t winning the Superbowl in the immediate future. But I don’t know anything about his market right now.

      • JR says:

        What makes you think Tom Brady would even want to go to a team that has no Super Bowl aspirations. This late in his career he is going to go to a team that has a good chance of being a contender.

        • Roy Batty says:

          Bachelor Tom would prefer Vegas over Seattle.

          Wet, cold temps are not good for the arthritis.

        • Forrest says:

          I wouldn’t count this out. Brady has never demanded market value in his contracts and he’d have DK, Lockett, Walker, Fant and Dissly/Parkinson who perfectly match what he seeks in targets. The weather in Seattle isn’t that bad compared to NE and the teams in your division all play in warmer climates down south.

          What worries me about Brady are the investments he’d likely ask for at Guard and Center, as he likes to step up in the pocket. Those are needed anyway, but they could divert you from upgrading the defense or making the best picks to set you up for the future.

    • Glor says:

      I am done with Vet QB’s, we know there are holes on this team, right now we need a “Tavaris Jackson” and some young talent sitting and learning, that is what will make me excited, a Kurt Cousins, Derrick Carr even Lamar Jackson type would not get me excited (Lamar, because lets be honest, he could literally be a RGIII bust now that he hurt his leg.) Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with Geno for the right price, but as a stop gap. I want to see us actually rolling with and developing young talent. These sport pathways these kids are taking these days are more and more elite, year round play, camps, conditioning – the best coaching, etc. It is like that for ever sport. I see 10 year olds doing things that 8 years ago 16 and 17 years olds would be just starting to do.

      I think it would be very interesting to roll with our other #1 QB this year at a similar contract that we just gave Geno 3.5mil plus incentives, let Geno hit the market, test his worth etc, but please please don’t even consider a franchise tag. If he had played in the second half of the season like he played in the first half it might be a different story, he is healthy for a 33 year old as he hasn’t played many snaps in the past 10 years, but the second half of the season looked a lot like his time with the jets, and I think that is the real him.

  2. EmperorMA says:

    I am just not seeing anything even close to $30M for Geno. He has a 10 year body of work, none of which qualifies him for that kind of money. Do two years for <$20M per and I'm in.

    Anything more and I want to spend that money of defense.

    • Hawkdawg says:

      Agreed. Although I would not be averse to spending some of that money on a good QB prospect. If some team wants to believe Geno will take them to the Super Bowl for $30+ million/year, that will be on them.

  3. Matt says:

    Brilliant article.

  4. Trevor says:

    Awesome writeup Rob you outline the Geno Smith contract situation perfectly. I see Hawks fans talking about Geno like he is a top 10 even top 5 QB and that is crazy talk to me. Were they watching the last 1/2 of the season. Also when was the last time the entire NFL was wrong for 10yrs about a QB only to find out he is a star?

    Would be floored if Geno gets $30 mil + from any team in the NFL on a longer term deal. Imagine being the GM trying to explain that contract to an owner.

    My QB option #1 for 2023

    -Drew Lock (2yr incentive ladden deal)
    -Anthony Richardson ( at # 5 JS can’t pass up the opportunity to take a guy who looks like a cross between Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson)
    -Stetson Bennett (Day 3 pick who comes into compete and could be the perfect backup QB.)

    That would be a young , dynamic and inexpensive QB room with incredible upside.

  5. Dubb says:

    You have to put yourself in Carroll’s shoes. He is 70 years old, with limited time to have complete control and win a superbowl. He doesn’t have. 5 year window to groom a rookie QB. Soon he’ll have to retire or a new owner will make changes. Also, given his history, he always overpays his veteran players. See Will Dissly.

    Also, you mentioned that John S. has an eye for picking QBs in the draft. He’s only drafted 2 or 3, so I don’t think that is a big enough sample to make that statement. Just because he said he liked Mahomes and Allen after the fact doesn’t make him have a great eye for QBs in the draft.

    I think he pays Geno more than market value; trades picks for veteran Defensive Linemen; and run it back with Diggs and Adams. I hope I’m wrong, though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      With respect, the Seattle Seahawks do not exist purely for Pete Carroll. This franchise has to (and will) think about the next era, not just the next couple of years.

      If timescale was so important, they wouldn’t have moved off Russell Wilson.

      Schneider didn’t say he liked Mahomes or Allen after the fact. He seemingly volunteered that information to people when they were drafted, before they became stars. This is definitely the case with Mahomes. It was literally reported on the night he was drafted that JS loved Mahomes.

      On your final point, that won’t be happening. This isn’t a short term fix.

    • Jerry says:

      Regarding Carroll’s drive to win now: he just oversaw the gutting of a veteran team. That included a veteran LT, MLB, and a franchise QB. The club has stated explicitly that they view their system as QB-friendly (e.g. not requiring singular talent to experience success).

      Nothing we’ve seen in the last year is consistent with the idea that Carroll views maintaining the status quo as the key to his plan.

      • BobbyK says:

        And that is why, imho, the Seahawks had a good draft. He no longer had 100% control of everything. My only faith moving forward is JS got more pull because he has the luxury of knowing he’s going to live a few more decades and wants to be in Seattle… he can have a long-term vision which I hope is the truth. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but it’s truthful if you really think about it. I believe in JS running the show and Carroll coaching… I don’t believe in their way of doing things a decade ago (Carroll called all shots and JS was a puppet who had occasional pull).

        • JimN says:

          Spot on BobbyK. I am thinking the 2022 draft was captained by JS, and he wants to stay a while, well past when PC retires. Rob, has highlighted the end of year meeting last year between the 2 and Jody. Am suspecting the final say for draft was JS. He is now the man going forward. This years draft , and especially this topic of how we treat the QB situation will be telling in this regard. I can also say that i am a Lock fan, and just want him to have a fair shot at QB1. What they do with Lock will also be telling of the future.

    • TatupuTime says:

      It’s fair to question who holds decision making within the Seahawks and how long Pete wants to keep coaching. I’m scared like everyone else is about Pete wanting to take the short term approach.

      But, the Seahawks are not winning a Superbowl in 2023 – with or without Geno. I don’t see the path. Did the Seahawks see a realistic path to a Superbowl in 2023 when they traded Russ less than a year ago? I doubt it in their heart of hearts.

      I don’t think Pete needs a 5 year window to fully groom a rookie QB. I’m hoping he sees 2024 and 2025 as years where they can compete with the right QB on a rookie contract. Ultimately I don’t think his philosophy is to win shoot out games with a high flying offence. I think at his core he still wants a top-5 defence, a great running game and an efficient point guard quarterback.

      PC/JS have experienced first hand the difference in team building with Russ on a rookie deal versus when he was one of the highest paid QBs in the league. They’ve both alluded to it before in interviews. I’m hoping they surprise me by surprising Seahawks fans here. But dreaming of the Seahawks doing what I hope they do is what I do every off season.

      • 509 Chris says:

        I agree that 5 years to groom a guy is nuts. Carrol can expect a second year qb to win if they choose the right one, and build well around him. If it plays out like that, it would be perfect to bring a young offensive minded coach in to replace Carroll. The new coach gets a third or fourth year qb that’s really ready to take the training wheels off and move away from the point guard stuff to a pass oriented offense. Personally I feel like last year told us they have a longer plan, and with some of the recent talk I don’t think Genos season has swayed them from the plan.

        Some people have said 20mil is the top of what to pay geno, and I agreed. I’m starting to wonder though if even that’s too much. Rob makes good points, be bold or be mediocre and get bounced out if the wild card round. 20 mil is any 2 good to better than good guys at C,G,LB,S ect. Can Lock win 9 games if the line improves on this season and KW takes a jump forward running the ball? (Literally, my only knock on him is he side steps waiting for a hole too often) The team has a better idea than I do but I think Lock could be that bridge guy with the injunction of talent around him from not paying geno.

        • TatupuTime says:

          I’d personally do up to $22.5M per on a 3 year deal that is really a 2 year deal. But that’s about where my comfort level is. I don’t know whether that gets in done for Geno though. Certainly he’s only taking that deal if it’s clear to him that he doesn’t have alternatives on the market. He’s such a difficult case to work out. I think you can pay Geno that and draft a QB at 5. If it’s closer to $30M a year than you hope on the rookie and trust Lock or another veteran QB as the failsafe.

          If Geno comes close to replicating this past year you can still trade him after 2023. Similar to KC trading Alex Smith for Kendall Fuller and a 3rd rounder. If Geno regresses significantly it’ll cost you money in 24/25, but at least you have the QB of the future waiting in the wings.

    • geoff u says:

      Except you’re chances of winning a super bowl with a middling QB like Geno is very very slim. Let’s look at Cincinnati for example. They had a similar middling QB in Andy Dalton and they stuck with him for 9 years, losing 5 straight wild card games at one point. You think them continuing with Andy Dalton would’ve gotten them to the Super Bowl? Or was it drafting Joe Burrow? You’re absolute best chance is a top QB…PERIOD. For the love of God if Pete actually believes Geno is going to win us a Super Bowl in the next few years, then Pete’s the one who needs to go in this scenario.

      • geoff u says:

        To put it simpler, Joe Burrow accomplished in his second season what Andy Dalton couldn’t in 9. And he’s very likely headed to his second Super Bowl in a row.

  6. You laid this out about as clearly and logically as it can be, Rob.

    I am still struggling to understand why this topic is so polarizing and difficult to grasp for a sizable chunk of our fan base. It’s not like it’s saying Geno is garbage and worth nothing. It’s a rational discussion of the return on investment for a team with signifcant talent gaps to fill all over the roster. JS will have a number that he feels is doable without hampering that rebuilding process – hopefully the org sticks to their guns and if they get outbid, so be it.

    Geno has absolutely been an amazing value this season. At $30M, he’s not. The notion that we could be mired in mediocrity for years – not good enough to make a SB run and not bad enough to land elite talent that can get us there – out to terrify every Seahawks fan.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You laid this out about as clearly and logically as it can be, Rob.

      Thank you.

      I just hope people read it.

    • cha says:

      I am still struggling to understand why this topic is so polarizing and difficult to grasp for a sizable chunk of our fan base.

      The supermodel we were dating dumped us and left us for dead. She had some annoying traits and was very high maintenance but she was so, so gorgeous, so we put up with them. And now she’s gone. We were never going to ever snag a supermodel again and we were going to die old and alone by choking on a half-frozen microwaved gas station burrito for one.

      Then the nerdy girl who we ignored got a music-montage makeover and took our breath away. She’s definitely not as pretty as our supermodel-ex, and she’s got some flaws, but they’re far less visible than the ex’s. She’s low-maintenance, our mom likes her better, and she’s a much better fit for us.

      Meanwhile the supermodel-ex is having a full-on public meltdown and very publicly validating everything we thought about her during and after the breakup.

      Our nerdy girl won us the breakup. Why would we even think of dumping her and moving on?

    • Glor says:

      It’s just like a restaurant – my rating for one is how good was it for how much did it cost. Cost is always a factor in the overall impression then weighed against the quality, taste, etc.

      Geno gets a high rating from me this year, great value for the money – recommend. Now if we were paying him the crazy money people are throwing around? ya, pass, I just don’t see it

  7. Demitrov says:

    Omg. So refreshing to hear this all laid out and put so well. One thing I hate is referring to contracts like theyre rewards for past play instead of what they are, CONTRACTS. As in, you agree to give us this level of play and we’ll give you this much money. If you think Genos gonna earn that 30mil a year for 3-4 years more power to you but I think it’s much more likely he plays like the 2nd half of the season or worse.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thank you Demitrov

    • Glor says:

      Exactly, and how many times now have we paid for past performance knowing full well (due to player age) that is just isn’t realistically sustainable. I 110% agree the contracts we should be signing should be for expectations for future performance, not a reward for past performance. If you want to reward someone for past performance, give them a FO job when they retire.

  8. Mr drucker in Hooterville says:

    Do NFL teams do sign and trades ? This may be the perfect scenario if SEA finds a partner.

    • Seattle Person says:

      I don’t think it’s really a thing in the NFL because of dead money. The closest thing is probably franchising someone and then trading them.

    • CHaquesFan says:

      They do with franchise tags (Frank Clark to KC for a first in 2018) but Geno is signing that tag the second he gets it

  9. Shane says:

    Knowing the Seahawks will not be anywhere close to competing for a championship next season, its not much of a debate for me. Im willing to watch Lock bridge the QB position to Richardson, Levis, or Stroud. Paying Geno even 20 million for 3 to 4 yrs seems wasteful to me. The Hawks still don’t have an identity and Geno is a JAG, a great story this year, but not worth money that can buy player(s) for a future championship run. Spend money on indenity building type guys, BAMF guys.

  10. Andy J says:

    I’m so very curious about the fan psychology that encourages such blinders and rigid thinking. Cognitive flexibility is a value folks!!

    • Matt says:

      It’s a bit similar to politics. For a lot of these folks, it *is* their identity. Not agreeing with them is more than a disagreement; it’s an affront to who they are. It’s clear that for many of these folks “Seahawks Twitter” is why they wake up in the morning.

      Harsh, but this is the cleanest explanation I can come up with. It’s very and deeply personal.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Not agreeing with them is more than a disagreement; it’s an affront to who they are.

        It certainly feels that way sometimes.

        Amazing, really, that ‘I’m open minded about keeping or moving from Geno… or taking QB or DL at #5’ is seen as an irrational position to take.

        • Joshua Smith says:

          Love the article Rob. Youve always done really well but I truly like the position you are writing from lately. Meaning, you are writing from BOTH points of view. You are attempting to reach a polarized audience and let us know that everyones opinion is valid. Even if we disagree…
          Most folks seemed to be caught up in “you are either right or wrong” with no in between. They react and respond to defend their view of being right. If you present an irrefutable counter argument they have to admit to being wrong. No likes to do that.
          I don’t usually submit a lot of praise for your writing on here (not because I don’t think it’s warranted, mind you). It is warrented and very much appreciated.
          Ultimately, I think that all of us could benefit from adopting the attitude of assigning percentage to our beliefs. Even if I say I am 99,% confident they should not resign Geno it frees me to adjust my thinking without feeling like I’m admitting to being wrong.
          Maybe I hear info about JS NOT liking the rookie QBs. So now I’m thinking Im closer to 65%. I still don’t to resign Geno. But is he now the best option? Maybe I now WANT to resign him. Maybe, maybe, maybe… If we avoid feeling concrete that our beliefs are the “correct beliefs ” then it frees us to adjust our thinking…
          Thanks again Rob!

      • cha says:

        It’s that and the drug-like addiction of “we won 9 games and made the playoffs, we’re really close!”

        When Pete Carroll – Pete Carroll for crying out loud! – publicly admits there is a tangible talent gap between the Seahawks and the Niners, it might be time to reevaluate your standards.

  11. Gaux Hawks says:

    Great read!

    Feels like the Hawks are in great position and have zero urgency to make a decision on Gino (Rob’s point ALL season).

    Having Lock lingering in the corner is looking like very good leverage… and might be outright the best “bridge” for Anthony Richardson.

    I won’t sleep until AR falls to us at 5.

    1R23 Anthony Richardson
    1R23 Drew Sanders
    2R23 Da’Ron Payne
    2R23 Keion White
    3R23 Jonathan Mingo

  12. Thomas says:

    Part of me thinks the whole pay Geno thing is downstream from good marketing by the team during the season.

    Anyway, I agree Rob. I wouldn’t shell out a lot for Geno. I’d just as soon take a mid round flyer.

    Now one other thing – is the QB position overvalued right now? If you think you can win with an average QB, why not wait until round 4? I only broach that as a possibility. I want them to take Stroud, Richardson, or Levis (pass on Young).

    • Matt says:

      I think it’s more about “good players” being overvalued. It’s happening in baseball too.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I don’t think the quarterback position is overvalued as they handle the ball so often. If anyone is overvalued it’s wide receivers that can’t hang onto the ball. There are a few elites out there, Kittle comes to mind even if that isn’t his position. The rest are getting elite money but not adjusting to the ball, or it hits them in the hands but they don’t catch it.

  13. Stuart says:

    Very nicely laid out Rob.

    I beleive strongly that we will see the second half Gino next year. What scares me the most about Gino is he is turnover machine.

    His fumbles cost us at least 2 games and his interception total was frightening when you factor in just half of the droped balls or penalties that negated the interception.

    Just my opinion but a payday of $15 M for next season is my personal max but even with that contract, i would go with Lock on a 2 yr contract and draft Anthony Richardson.

  14. 12th chuck says:

    “If John Schneider thinks a quarterback is worthy of the fifth pick, he should take him. We should have some faith in a GM who appears to have a good eye for the position.”
    As long as Pete Carroll is not picking, that’s all I need to know. I have lost a lot of faith. No longer “in Pete we trust.” If John thinks a defensive player is needed with the 5 pick, that’s all I need. I just hope long term foresight is in consideration as well.

  15. Gomhawk says:

    My thought on this is, Geno is in that the best 10th-15th best qb, basically the good qb range. 10-15 isn’t an absolute number and some years there are more or fewer guys in this range, maybe it’s 8-17. He’s definitely not the 5th best which I’ve seen thrown around. I call this the Mathew Stafford-Derrick Carr range. Throw in Cousins and Dak where you like. These guys WILL make pro-bowls at times, when they’re having a good year and surrounded by talent. So the pro bowl argument for Geno doesn’t count for much. You can win a super bowl with one of these players IF your team is stacked, e.g. Mathew Stanford. I also think it’s harder to build a stacked team around one of these guys, easier to bring them in once you already have a stacked team, e.g. Mathew Stafford. It would be really difficult to build a stacked team on Geno’s timeline and high salary even with some great drafts.

    I am a Geno fan, and being in the good qb range is a tremendous accomplishment for him, but you can’t pay the guy the qb ransom that a lot of teams fall for, especially when you have options with the #5 pick.

  16. no frickin clue says:

    Rob,

    Assuming we do get a QB with #5 overall, and that Geno does receive a $30M+ offer from someone else, upgrades at which positions on offense do you think would do the most to make life easier for the next starting QB, whether it’s Lock, the rookie, or someone else?

    I’m guessing better interior line play would help a lot, but maybe there’s an argument for a 3rd WR, a complementary RB for K9?

    Finally, if you were going to go shopping during free agency on offense, are there any guys in particular you would target?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Draft a RB
      I would look at FA for the other two areas initially but I like some of the WR’s in the draft

      Garrett Bradbury would be a center I look at
      Isaiah Wynn to consider moving inside to guard again

  17. Austin says:

    That Austin wasn’t me lol. I’m team let Geno walk.

    Another great article Rob

  18. Palatypus says:

    Rob wrote, “Oh Twitter, what did we do to deserve you?”

    Well, Twitter was launched on March 21, 2006. This was, no doubt, in opposition and protest to the establishment of the United Nations Human Rights Council six days earlier.

  19. BobbyK says:

    Geno Smiff, Dak Prescott, David Carr, etc… in 2023 each are very similar (not in career numbers, but looking to the ’23 season).

    Give each a fortress OL and playmakers and they will easily look like top 5-10 QBs. Not all QBs can look as good as these guys do/can/will with proper surrounding talent. Add that to a top 10 defense and you can win a Super Bowl with any of them (Tom Brady has never won a Super Bowl without a top 10 defense).

    That being said, these guys clearly suck under duress that other QBs (better QBs) don’t as badly and that’s why they are more winners in the grand scheme of things. At least Carr and Dak seem like good people who’ve never been kicked off former teams for being a moron and then doing what Smiff did in Seattle about a year ago (in his 30s, mind you, when people are supposed to stop being as stupid in life). Dak’s DUI was pre-draft at a younger age (no excuses… just saying all of us did “dumber” things in our early 20s than in our 30s, I hope).

  20. All I see is 12s says:

    Rob, Thank you, thank you, thank you for this article. It’s so refreshing to hear a break from the party line that Geno must be resigned at all costs (although to be fair, Mike Salk has been stoking this fire too.)
    Frankly, I think this is the best version of Geno we have seen. A great value for what we paid. A terrible value at much more.
    For me, he just seems a tick too slow. Too Slow to release. Too Slow to decide to run. Too slow to move up in the pocket I mean, he knows the offence and can diagnose the defense, but I don’t think he processes the game at an elite pace. When he tries to inrrease the pace of his decisions is when he makes his mistakes.
    Your absolutely right. Ultimately, he is mediocre. The way you kill a franchise is too pay a mediocre qb.
    Much better to sign Lock and draft Levis/ AR.

  21. Seattle Person says:

    I’m trying to get into watching a little bit of Tyree Wilson and he’s interesting. Does anyone else question the fit Wilson has in our defense. He offers unique size but isn’t really a 5T or 3T. He doesn’t seem to take on double teams or hold up blocks particularly well. He probably won’t be a top end athlete to be an Edge. Yet he’s really interesting because I think he can be a weapon on the line. Dude is really confusing to me.

    Another dude that does fit what we’re trying to do is Gervon Dexter out of Florida. He’s 6’6 and over 315 lbs. He’s pretty athletic and is a natural fit in a 3-4 as a 4i or 5T. He does a wonderful job holding up blocks and shedding blocks. He’s exactly what the team needs. He also confuses me because I can’t really work out his draft value.

  22. TomLPDX says:

    You really nailed it with this one Rob! Great read

  23. Connor says:

    Words to live by. You can’t let the fear of losing what you’ve got prevent you from gaining what you lack. I think I’ll have general anxiety no matter what path they choose. So long as they don’t stay anchored to what they put out last season in a genuine, educated, attempt to improve I’ll at least respect it.

  24. Curtis Bishop says:

    Rob I thoroughly enjoy your articles and breakdown of the Seahawks from game analysis, players, coaches, front office and draft info. I read all the forums I can to get a feel of fan pulse and I find myself frustrated by posts that seem to be happy with “good enough”. As fans we should never be ok with that mindset because this should be about the pursuit of winning championships and holding our owner, front office, coaches and players to that standard. I love JS and PC for bringing us a championship but that should not excuse them from the last 5+ years of mediocrity and no real chance at a championship. If Hawks pay Geno 30+ mil a year with the roster we have now then fans should expect nothing more but the same brand of football we have seen over that span of years and zero chance of beating the Niners let alone winning a championship. If Hawks were smart they would hire you into the franchise to help :))! Keep doing what you are doing Rob.

  25. Steve Nelsen says:

    The key thing about the Geno contract is for Seattle to be able to move away from the contract after one year. You could give Geno a 3 year/$90 million contract with a $5M salary in year 1 and a $35M signing bonus. Geno gets his cash but his 2023 cap hit is just $17-18M. Year 2 $23M salary, year 3 $27M salary If he has another Pro-Bowl year in 2023, great. If not, you walk with a modest amount of dead money.

  26. Red says:

    Not sure this has been brought up, maybe its dumb but I have been thinking since the wilson trade what would happen if teams cycled through QBs more often? Most important position for sure, but we have seen good players come out on a rookie contract that can take you plenty far with the right team built around them. The investment in QBs is getting so high, im curious to know what the landscape would look like if a team would cycle through young qbs more often as to not take up so much cap space so they could field a competitive team.

    Now if you can find a mahomes, allen, burrows and a few others maybe you do have your long term answer, but it seems that those are really tough to come by. Plenty of first round qbs havent panned out. But lets say year five you turn around and trade them for at least a first? Can you then rinse and repeat? Keep your team young, keep your draft stock, have the money to invest in positions that wont take up all your cap, and continue to be a contender? Not just make the playoffs, be a true contender.

    Just a random thought I have constantly on my commute. Not sure, would be an interesting experiment though.

    • Ben says:

      It’ll never happen, but this and sharing snaps to help develop QBs and take advantage of strengths and weaknesses. Dalton and Hill is quite interesting to watch.

    • Palatypus says:

      “Not sure this has been brought up, maybe its dumb but I have been thinking since the wilson trade what would happen if teams cycled through QBs more often?”

      The Washington Redskins.

      • BK26 says:

        Jets to a degree. You could argue the Cardinals with Rosen and then Kyler. Look at the teams that are picking higher year after year. That’s the only thing that needs to be said. If you don’t buy a quality car and just think you can keep replacing it after 2 years then you aren’t going to get anywhere.

  27. WEG says:

    Just a math note.

    “Geno Smith saw only 48% of his turnover worthy plays actually result in an interception. …. If he’d thrown the 80.6% average like the rest of the QB’s in the top-10, he would’ve had about 25 picks.”

    Solving .48x = 11 gets you x = 11/.48 = 22.9, then .806 x 22.9 = 18.5, not 25.

    But maybe there’s really some different numbers here? Or maybe I’ve misunderstood?

    • cha says:

      Geno had 31 TWP last year

      The average loss rate was 80.6%

      That is 25 turnovers

    • GrittyHawk says:

      You’re only accounting for interceptions, not fumbles. Your math is right re: 23 “interceptable” passes, and you add in his 8 fumbles to get to 31 “turnover worthy” plays.

  28. MyChestisBeastMode says:

    What if Smith was the bridge for Lock? I’m sure they’d prefer Smith if the market permits it but are also ready to walk because I don’t think anything is going to get in the way of the front office attempting to build a strong defensive unit once more.

    Smith stepped in and best all expectations because he knew the system. If Smith leaves, Lock now has a year under his belt.

    Either way, great read and perspective. I think they will really like Levis and Richardson. But I also really like the idea Dorian Thompson Robinson in mid rounds and using the early picks on Defense and trenches or BPA and keep adding talent.

    • Seattle Person says:

      Well…I don’t think this is the case. The team probably prefers to draft a young QB. Drew Lock is a FA and if the team resigns him for a year and he balls out — wouldn’t we be in the same spot next season as we are now?

      • 509 Chris says:

        They can sign him to a 2 or 3 year deal with some heavy incentives and he’d probably take it. Something similar to the geno deal from this season just longer. Who knows though? Maybe he bets on himself and won’t sign anything longer than a year if it’s not for a bigger chunk of change.

  29. Denver Hawker says:

    I’ve been thinking Jamal Adams would look so good in a Bears jersey alongside Jalen Carter at #5.

  30. UP Hawk says:

    Tannehill’s comparison is thrown out a lot which I feel is a bit unfair (to him). He was a four year starter in the league and while replacement level, was still 26/27 years old when he went to the Titans. Geno meanwhile is 32, had one half a season of brilliance, and was replacement level for the other half. Reverse the timing and he is way more Nick Foles (without a ring!) than Tannehill, Carr, etc.

    If our QB isn’t there at 5, I would much rather roll with Lock or another replacement level guy than pay 30/year to Geno.

    • GrittyHawk says:

      This is a great point and also a good case study in how quickly a player can decline in his early 30s.

      Here is Tannehill’s age 32 season compared to Geno’s:

      Tannehill: 7.9 Y/A, 6.9% TD rate (33 total), 1.5% INT rate (7 total) , 106.5 Rating
      Smith: 7.5 Y/A, 5.2% TD rate (30 total), 1.9% INT rate (11 total), 100.9 Rating

      • cha says:

        Tannehill is also a cautionary tale about overpaying for mediocrity.

        He is fantastic when he works within structure, the defense is working, Henry is running and his WRs are getting YAC. He’s a complete formula QB.

        The year they went to the AFCCG? The first two playoff games, the Titans only had Tannehill throw for 14 and 15 times. In the AFCCG against the Chiefs, Henry was limited to 69 yards and the defense struggled to hold the Chiefs offense in check.

        In the second half Tannehill managed 88 passing yards (61 net yards as he was sacked 3x for 27 yards of loss) and a garbage time touchdown.

        And we all saw what happened last year when Tannehill was asked to do more as the #1 seed – 3 interceptions, including the backbreaker to lose the game in the last minute.

  31. Sluggo42 says:

    Geno is slow at processing. Let someone else pay him, and that’s his reward for playing a decent year with us. Congratulations mate! Resign Lock and let him be the bridge. I’ve concluded Young would take over halfway thru the season, because he is quick witted and sees the field, and having 3 smoking good WR”s and a little time with an improving line, dude will kill it, not to mention KWIII to hand off to.

    I’m all in with any of the 4 QB’s, and while watching Joe Burrow dismantle the Bills with quick pinpoint passing, it made me think that Young would make a great pick. Sure he is a little smaller, but JB is no Allen in stature, and look at how easy he makes it look. It also makes me want to draft one of the top WR’s with our second pick. Then in round 2 get the best IdL, and center available. Then get a few linebackers. Geez Barton stinks, I’ve said this all year. He can’t disengage and always takes the wrong angle.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Does Young struggle/refuse to throw to the middle of the field like our former QB? Honest Q.

    • BK26 says:

      Burrow is 6’4″. He can see over the line. I’m done with the small quarterbacks that need the pocket moved so they can see where to throw the ball. Young is maybe 5’10” He would take over halfway through the year because Lock isn’t good and then get broken in half by the end of the year.

      He’s had the best receivers, running backs, and line. He’s been protected as much as possible because that is what he needs.

      It’s just me, but I don’t have faith on him playing until he’s 30. Give me any of the other 3, hopefully someone takes the option away and drafts Young ahead of us.

  32. Palatypus says:

    I was thinking earlier today that the draft is Christmas for the NFL. We all get to open our presents and find out if we were naughty or nice. Were we very good like last year? Or did we get L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, and Dee Eskridge in our stockings?

    But the Senior Bowl is Halloween. Having been there a few times, I can tell you it’s a circus of liars, so articles like Daniel Jeremiah’s the other day are par for the course. People are going to say all kinds of crazy shit – shit they don’t even believe in. Hell, they even have a Mardi Gras parade for it, which is based on a festival of masked deceit so New Orleans whores (members of my family) can cheat on their spouses, get arrested for Drunk & Disorderly, released from jail to clean up the aftermath on Bourbon Street and be absolved by an Archbishop the next day.

    But the city of Mobile takes offense to this. Mobile will constantly remind you (because of their inferiority complex) that the Mardi Gras tradition has been in Mobile longer than it was in New Orleans. Mobile gets no press in the national media, so they constantly, strenuously have to prove that they are twice as drunk and stupid as New Orleans. But, don’t you dare have sex and get pregnant out of wedlock or get an abortion unless you are a senior member of the police or government.

    These tropical waters are the natural habitat of sharks – NFL super-agents. I know because I got to meet one last year. I am here to navigate these dangerous waters for you. I scouted out the University of South Alabama recently for alligators (which ARE on campus) but there are more dangerous creatures lurking about.

    I am committed to making this journey into Mordor like Eddie Munson in Stranger Things, but not to destroy a ring. I launch my crusade to bring a ring back to you! I march forth to bring you a ring so magnificent and powerful that all will cower before it!

    RINGWORM!!!

  33. 805Hawk says:

    Great article. I found myself saying, “Yes! Exactly!” over and over. Very well laid out thought process. Kudos!

  34. DiverTimmy says:

    If the QB market explodes with the cap going up, is there any chance of a franchise tag and trade taking place, or is the possibly 3rd round compensatory pick (at the most) going to be better than trade compensation teams would be willing to offer do you think? I would imagine compensatory picks or picks in a trade would be part of JS’s estimation as well.

  35. SoZ says:

    Very well-stated. Seattle never won anything after Russ got paid. Except that he pretty much always beat the 49ers.
    I think you could count on one hand the QBs with $30 million salaries who’ve won the Super Bowl…but it would be Luke Skywalker’s missing hand.

  36. Mick says:

    Great point Rob. I would be totally fine with letting Geno go, unless he’s happy with a raise to at most 15 mil. But I don’t call the people who want to keep him no matter what crazy. The same goes with what to do at #5: there are valid points for drafting a QB, going for Jalen Carter or Will Anderson, going for the best WR or even the best safety in the draft class or trading up or down. We can exchange arguments about that without personal attacks.

  37. Gross MaToast says:

    Oh, look, the English Soccer Fan has an opinion about the Murican game of footbawl. Rob, you absolute, lunatic, the Seahawks represent our city, they represent us – they are us and we are them. Geno can’t leave after the season he had. He was almost serviceable for large parts of it – mostly on good fortune, sure – but he’s a dadgum Seahawk. There can be no other.

    And what’s this “debate” over how much he should make? The correct answer is whatever Russ makes + $1. Sure, it’ll blow up the salary cap and destroy the team, but it’ll also teach ol’ Russ a lesson he won’t soon forget. Boom.

    I mean, yeah, if I could get Levis or Stroud or Richardson on a rookie contract for the next half-decade, it would be a heck of a deal, but – I’ll come back and expand this section when I think of some reasons that would be bad. (Note to self – come back and expand this section when you think of some reasons that are bad.) It would be awesome watching one of those guys at QB until about 2038 – think of Levis throwing to DK – but if it means I miss another season of Geno, count me out. You’ll never convince me that he’s not almost as good as Dak.

    If I’m not mistaken, I think cha had a nice breakdown of the salary cap a week or so ago which proved – I mean, TRIED to prove – that signing Geno for market value would be difficult, if not impossible. That’s crazy talk.

    I mean, Pete and John are both saying they want Geno back. Sometimes I think it might just be to help him cash in from some other sucker, I mean, team, that needs a QB – you know, you did us a solid, we’ll do you a solid. Other times, I think they realize that Geno is almost as good as Dak.

    Pete his own self spoke just last week about the talent gap between the Seahawks and 49ers. Now, I don’t know who drafted and signed all of the Seahawks, but that guy needs to find a new job pronto. And getting rid of Geno doesn’t solve that problem – now your players are sub-par AND you don’t have Geno – that’s not a Super Bowl recipe. I don’t have a point here except at least Geno’s not a 49er.

    Now, this really is crazy talk, but let’s play what if – what if the Seahawks took Tyree Wilson and Drew Sanders in the 1st round, then grabbed Calijah Kancey and Kayshon Boutte in the 2nd and then maybe in round 3, they take danged ol’ Dorian Thompson Robinson. Maybe they could even snag old Byron Young later. That would be an exciting development. I’d also be thrilled with a QB at 5 and any combination of the previously mentioned players. I’m completely down with all of that, except for one thing – no Geno. Between excitement and Geno, give me Geno.

    I’m sorry, but you don’t replace a QB who, after years of being a mediocre backup, had a somewhat lucky season and helped a team barely scrape its way into the playoffs and suffer a somewhat humiliating loss after playing the weakest schedule it’s ever had just because you have, for the first time in two decades, a very high draft pick and there are a number of pretty good prospects waiting. That’s crazy thinking, even for an English Soccer Fan.

    Count me out.

    (For those who missed it, some idiot on the post-game called Rob “English Soccer Fan” as a derogatory. Rob may be an English Soccer Fan, who isn’t?, but he knows more about football than 98.7% of those of us who dare speak on this board. I apologize to those of you who may feel traumatized as a result.)

    • Sea Mode says:

      😂 My favorite part:

      I’m sorry, but you don’t replace a QB who, after years of being a mediocre backup, had a somewhat lucky season and helped a team barely scrape its way into the playoffs and suffer a somewhat humiliating loss after playing the weakest schedule it’s ever had just because you have, for the first time in two decades, a very high draft pick and there are a number of pretty good prospects waiting.

    • Jordie says:

      Brilliant

    • 509 Chris says:

      Sometimes I think as Americans we take football for granted. It’s easy to watch, everyone will talk about it with you, we don’t have to stay up all night to see it live. The British fans, and I suppose people in other countries too, have to really go out of their way to watch and get updates. This leads them to have a more solid understanding of their team and they don’t seem to be as bad about being homer fans. I’ll admit my very first though when I watched a stream with Rob was what, this guy I’ve been reading is English! Now maybe it’s just a certain kind of fan that follows this site, and the rest of fans there are idiots. Maybe English fans are just as bad as most of the Americans when it comes to soccer. I guess I could be reading way too much into this, but I think I’m onto something.

      • James P says:

        I think this is spot on. Speaking as an English fan who doesn’t like soccer, I’ve always felt that the “default sport” in a country gets a lot of casual fans who maybe just enjoy sport in general, but haven’t gone out of their way to select their chosen sport. They just sort of followed the crowd.

        That means you get a wide range of “fanaticism” – ranging from rabid, frothing at the mouth fans who know who the nickel corner was in 1982 to those who just have the game on in the background on a Sunday and maybe go to a Superbowl party. Exactly the same in the UK with soccer – some are absolutely obsessed, some just keep an eye on their team’s scores.

        For an English fan following football you have to be on the obsessed end of the spectrum to justify the late nights and the lack of an established fan base. However it is great when you run into other fans, even of other teams – you feel part of a subculture (although that is rapidly changing as it’s pretty mainstream now).

    • Big Mike says:

      Absolutely genius post

  38. DarrellDownUnder says:

    Great read and so true.

    Worst case scenario is to keep slogging along with Pete,Geno and a few others.

    This organisation needs to make shit happen.

    Excited for the draft but have never been this disinterested with this team especially
    if it’s going to be the status quo.

  39. Sea Mode says:

    Mentioned this at the end of last thread on Geno which I feel is kind of a forgotten piece of the puzzle in predicting the whole Geno negotiation:

    Isn’t it quite possible that he gets suspended several games (perhaps 6 or so, I’m thinking?) by the League next season, regardless of the sentence he receives in court? And how much could that lower what teams (especially other teams) would be willing to offer him?

    I honestly think we should flat out low-ball him. IMO nobody is going to pay him anywhere close to $30m, let alone $20m. I might throw a bone like 2yrs/$15m with some incentives for playoff wins, but secretly I’m probably hoping another team beats our offer so PC can act like it hurt losing him and we move on to the new era one of the rookies.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree. Might go as high as 2yrs / $25 mil with $15 guarenteed but if not move on. Seems like Geno’s camp got the $30 + mil narrative out there when he was on that good run and somehow it stuck with Hawks fans. Doubt it did with NFL GMs and more importantly owners who have to sign that cheque.

      Imagine being a GM and going to your owner trying to sell him on the idea of signing a 33 yr old career backup who played 8-9 good games to a multi year $30 mil /yr + contract. Good luck with that.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Half a season that would have looked A LOT worse if not for easy opponents and pretty insane turnover luck, as explained in the post.

        Oh, and don’t forget the looming suspension possibility.

        That just has me thinking that the Seahawks might be starting the season with Lock either way, so you might as well just roll with him if he’s your bridge to the rookie QB. Spend the money on OL/DL will help the team win more than Geno helped. (and I by no means hate him or anything, btw)

        • Trevor says:

          I don’t dislike Geno either and have no problem with him coming back as a bridge QB either as long as he is paid like one.

          Best case scenario for a parties is that some team is desperate and signs him to a monster contract. Can’t think of any team that will but perhaps TB or someone like that is they still believe they are in win now mode. That way Geno gets his $, PC/ JS can say they tried but had a budget and the Hawks can find thier QB of the future with a lot more cap space.

          Weird how the possible suspension has gotten literally zero coverage in the media. Are you sure about this? I know you are ussually right on top of these types of things.

          • Sea Mode says:

            I have no idea, actually. If I recall correctly, the case was postponed until April or something because of waiting for lab tests, which allowed him to play this whole season without worrying about it.

            The League seems somewhat unpredictable in these matters since it is a judgement call by the Commissioner based on their own investigation. All I can say is that it wouldn’t surprise me at this point for Geno to get a few weeks out for that. If I were any GM, I’d at least be asking about it before I even think of putting together any kind of offer to Geno.

            This article mentions 3 weeks for a first-time DUI, but Geno was also arrested in 2013 at Alabama for DUI, so I don’t know if this one would count as his first.

            https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2022/06/08/geno-smith-believes-january-arrest-on-suspicion-of-dui-will-get-worked-out/

            • Sea Mode says:

              Holy crap, please disregard/delete that last part about Alabama. That’s a cornerback by the same name in totally different years and I read too quickly and got confused. I apologize.

  40. DriveByPoster says:

    Nice article Rob & I like that you covered something that I’ve been thinking about for a little while.
    As far as I can tell the ‘pay Geno’ advocates tend to also be the ‘trust Pete’ advocates. Well Pete said, early in the season, that they have two No.1 QBs. If we ‘trust Pete’ (& I think that perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt after he bigged up Geno at the start of the year & lots of us, me included, sneered at that a bit) then why on earth should we give Geno a big pay rise when we have Drew Lock, the other No.1, just waiting in the wings for his chance?
    Personally, I believe in Drew Lock about as much as I believed in Geno Smith before the season started, but Pete was a lot more right than me this season, so let’s show some faith & take him at his word on the Smith vs Lock situation. Why the heck would the Seahawks give Geno a massive contract when they have a ready-made replacement? The argument to pay Geno is illogical & that’s before we even get to the whole debate about whether he can sustain his good, not great, level of performance & way before we start talking about what to do with the #5 pick in the draft.

  41. DriveByPoster says:

    Oh, nearly forgot to say, that I don’t like this “turnover worthy plays” idea. It seems to me that this is a much more nebulous concept than just a hard stat. It is straying into the realms of a judgement call & doesn’t really have any value for me. For example, how can we be sure that Geno’s ‘lucky’ run of non-interceptions isn’t a result of his own judgement & ability to put the ball in a place or with a velocity which is just too difficult for the defense to take it away? It’s an impossible measurement.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well, the plays are determined as risky and he had a comparatively lucky season. I think it’s a very pertinent stat

      • DriveByPoster says:

        Thanks for the responses & the link. Still not convinced though! 🙂
        I get the idea (and I do agree that Geno got away with some chancey throws during the season) but I still think it depends overmuch on value judgements (e.g. how long is too long for a QB to hold onto the ball?). It might be a nice footnote to add to QB rating but I don’t think it should be part of the rating itself.

        • cha says:

          That is fair.

          I do think that the stat passes the sniff test for those of us that watched every snap, watched the highlights and had a focus on deducing the good and bad of the games.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I have to hard disagree on this take. To me at least, stats without context are much less meaningful and easy to manipulate or at least interpret incorrectly.

      Listen, for example, to Joe Burrow providing context on sack numbers and tell me it doesn’t paint a completely different picture vs. the pure stat line:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/RehabSportsGuy/status/1579962535260094464

    • Matt says:

      I don’t know…watching the last two months – can’t tell you how many times there were two hands on a ball and no interception by the defense. He had a run of 4-5 games where he was VERY lucky he didn’t have 3 INT days.

      • DriveByPoster says:

        That’s true, Matt, but there is also an old addage that says it is better to be lucky than good! If this is going to be a consistent measurement then perhaps we should also take away plays where the completion was down to great play by the receiver or poor play by the defense rather than a good throw by the QB?

        • Matt says:

          They do the same with fumble luck and have shown that’s a completely unsustainable thing.

          Here’s my analogy on Geno – he’s a high strikeout hitter that had an unsustainably high BABIP (batting average on balls in play) this last season. In the long run – that stuff normalizes.

          I would maybe buy the “better lucky than good” if Geno had this type of turnover luck over multiple seasons, but all we have is this one season + his history of being turnover prone. The team has to use all available data before making a decision on this one. It’s truly unprecedented and while many simply want to look at the positive; it’s far more effective to look at the negative and make the case why he’s not worth $30M. It’s incumbent upon the Geno crowd to prove this isn’t an outlier situation.

          Again – Geno had half of a great season and half of an average-above season.

        • Group Captain Mandrake says:

          It’s fine to be lucky rather than good until your luck turns. There were so many “almosts” in the second half of the season. What happens if next year the defense starts holding onto those?

        • Scot04 says:

          That old addage definitely helps Geno, but is not the Hawks.
          Better to be lucky than good, well lets assume that’s the case; chances of that luck repeating itself is low.
          So how if your John Schneider can you justify paying a QB based on that logic.
          The simple fact is most these teams use all the new tools, & analytics to help make these big decisions.
          So every bit of information you can get your hands on for evaluating a player becomes more important every year.
          (I like how Rob was Generous with his 65% vrs 80.6%; & it still makes him the QB with the highest amount of turnovers.)
          This is critical in a Pete Carroll system.
          Next year we will have a more difficult schedule; and if we did spend on Geno, we’d have little to improve our poor defense.
          So I respectfully disagree; this seems like a very important part of QB evaluation, especially for us in part 2 of our rebuild.

  42. MattyB says:

    Seattle have previously been very stout with senior players regards what they are willing to pay so i would suggest The Seahawks know already what their ceiling is with Geno and will play the waiting game all the way to the draft – i see a QB being picked at #5 and find another ‘Geno’ – surely next season with the draft capital is another good step towards being a challenger but with year two with the new QB being the season to challenge

    • 805Hawk says:

      My concern on the waiting game is that you can’t spend the Geno money on other FA’s if you think Geno might sign. I’d rather be done with it in the first week or two of free agency, so they can get to roster building pronto.

      • Big Mike says:

        That’s basically what happened with Clowney and how we ended up with a season of Benson Mayowa as our “pass rusher”.

        • Peter says:

          Exactly.

          They should have a contract getting finishing touches sitting on John’s desk right now.

          Lord help me if they get into a protracted timeline with Geno and it holds up other possible signings.

  43. Calgayhawk says:

    My feeling about a Geno Smith’s contract is that he will end up with a contract very much like his 2022 contract, just with bigger numbers. Half his salary this year was bonus money. I can see him getting $14-$16 million base salary (maybe fully guaranteed) and as much in bonus money, including taking the team to each round of the playoffs and Super Bowl. He wants to stay and I have no problem with him taking the team as far as he can. Cap problems with that kind and size of contract to get deep into the playoffs is a possibility but I’d give up a 3rd rounder next year (leagues most probable penalty) to see it happen.

  44. Raybones says:

    Great read Rob. I myself am torn as to which way I want to go. Like most of us, I was on team tank at the beginning of last season. I never in my wildest dreams thought Geno would deliver the season he did, kudos to him. But the reality of this is still that the whole idea behind trading Russ was to give us a unique opportunity to rebuild the foundation of this roster. The draft picks are pretty much where I thought they would be but I would have reversed the order of who supplied them. The combine and senior bowl will completely change the narrative on this draft. There absolutely will be teams that fall in love with the potential of Levis and Richardson. Including JS\PC in my opinion. This is still a QB driven league and there are teams closer than we are who need a QB. Those teams may look at trading for an established veteran because there are a surprising number of them available. Tyree Wilson could leap frog Carter after the combine as well. I trust JS to do the right thing here. There’s talent to be had in the 20 – 60 range. A trade back to access more of that wouldn’t surprise or disappoint me. But if at the end of the day, JS rolls the dice on a QB at 5, I’m all in.

  45. Ralphy says:

    Wow Rob! This is an incredibly good article.

  46. Ross says:

    Sometimes I miss Twitter but then i read about this type of Tweet exchange and I remember. Thank you, Elon, for pushing me away.

    I see Drew Lock as 2012 Matt Flynn. Sign him to a smart 2-3 year contract as a hedge, and draft whichever QB is left at #5 (crossing my fingers for Levis, Stroud, or Richardson, but would take Young). Let Geno walk as I really feel that his play won’t live up to the market he’s going to get. Spend that $ on FA instead.

  47. HawkfaninMT says:

    I wonder if, as a community (not just Rob), we have moved too far off Bryce Young? He’s consistently number 1 overall on the mainstream draft community (which bares fair criticism of course). But it seems like the idea of even taking him at 5 now is met with disdain.

    Has the pendulum swung too far for us?

    • CL says:

      I honestly had the same impression. I wanted to gather all the pieces that Rob wrote about Bryce Young during the season, but didn’t find the time to sift through the articles yet.

      While all the questions around his size and durability are definitely warranted, that kid can really ball, like REALLY.

      • Peter says:

        I’m not sure there would be a debate at all about Bryce Young as the first overall pick were it not for one thing he can’t change…his size.

        That’s it.

        Young is an exceptional qb. But right off the bat someone is lying. Alabama lists himat 6′. Wikipedia has him at 5’10”. Both have him listed at 195. He looks lighter than that.

        For me I’m not “over,” short qbs per se though I do want to see a more traditional sized qb. It’s the worry that you are drafting a guy who might get “tua-ed,” on Sundays.

        Take Seattle’s new found assessment for light Centers. (Which is dumb as a box of rocks, btw) when blythe gets turtled up by defensive linemen I don’t want my qb getting concussions from bouncing their head off the ground.

        • CL says:

          Yeah, totally agree with that.

          I also prefer a different QB if we have the luxury to choose one. But if Seattle is on the clock with the fifth pick, the other three QBs + Anderson are gone, I’m totally prepared for JS to pick Young. Not saying he definitely will, but I won’t be surprised if he does.

    • Sluggo42 says:

      I agree. He is a baller, and yes he is small, yet looking at what he’s done in college, it doesn’t seem to have bothered him there. Everyone on the lines are still large people.
      He has “it” factor, like Joe burrow, the golden arm. Plus he has the “m” chip, which is the fastest processor. Most of the nation realizes this and that’s why he is considered the consensus #1 pick, again and again.
      I think in here we get too enamored with “large”, and “cannon”, and tree trunk legs etc. how often do the “big” QB’s fall flat on their face when the speed of the NFL hits them?

      Now I also like “large” and “cannon”, but I certainly wouldn’t blink taking Young at #5, and would actually be thrilled.

    • Group Captain Mandrake says:

      I like him as a QB, but he is the one I want Seattle to get the least simply because of his size. He has done well at Bama, but he has been surrounded by the best of the best to protect and help him. That is a situation he won’t have in the pros. I worry that he just won’t last long in the pros or will be out injured quite a bit. That may not happen, but I think the odds are greater than it does.

  48. Rob Staton says:

    Appreciate the kind comments from everyone.

    If you could do me a favour and RT the link to the article (see below) or share on reddit forums/other forums it’d be much appreciated

    https://twitter.com/robstaton/status/1617686012184137734

  49. Sean-O says:

    Here’s a question, do we think CAR & ATL (in their view) have their “QB’s of the future” on their current roster? If not, could those two be options to trade up to #5 if things shake out the way they could?

    Speaking of CAR, if the Hawks were to make a deal with them, is the compensation of #5 for #9, a 2nd or 3rd-round pick & Matt Corral close?

    • BK26 says:

      Carolina: absolutely not. Their owner is starving for a quarterback. They might make the biggest push to pick #1 because all you hear is how badly Tepper wants a quarterback.

      Atlanta…maybe? But I really doubt it. I almost wonder if they took Ridder just to get a young quarterback on the roster. If they got the chance to take someone in this draft, I think they’d take it. I could also see someone like Carr go there: veteran that is still capable with those young weapons. Makes they much more able to compete sooner in a very weak division.

      And I wouldn’t make that trade. I want Seattle to get their own quarterback and if the “tall three” are gone, then I’d take Anderson or Carter. I’d be mad about it, but I just think that this is their only chance to upgrade the position to top tier talent in the foreseeable future.

    • Peter says:

      Draft value chart wise it’s only a third.

      Real world wise if someone is gunning for a qb of their future I wouldn’t touch that for less than this years third and their first next year.

      Say they take Stroud and become us going in to a nine win Season. Then we do the same.

      In 2024 we get two firsts but they are at 18-21 or thereabouts.

      At what point do we have the means to get a top QB after that? Just wait til we are legitimately bad enough on our own to get a top pick while watching Carolina be competitive?

      If they come out of the Wilson trade with anything less than a hopefully great LT…better than okung ideally and a dlinemen that isn’t closer to Suh than Solomon Thomas then the only winner of trade is the allen family trust and their escrow account.

    • Rob4q says:

      I feel like ATL will likely see what Ridder can do next season, especially since they are on the fringe area of being able to draft one of the QB’s this year. They have a lot of holes as well and can’t really afford to trade up.

      Carolina is interesting and they need to figure out their coach first! Hopefully Wilks gets the job because he seems to be a good coach and is well liked and respected. They were competitive after he took over last year. But they need a QB as everyone saw that Darnold and PJ Walker are not the answer. I think that could be a good landing spot for Carr or Jimmy G though.

      I asked before about the Seahawks making a deal with CAR that included Coral. I think the point was that if the Seahawks had wanted Coral they would have just drafted him last year.

  50. Big Mike says:

    Great article Rob. Don’t let the dumbasses get under your skin or otherwise impede you from writing this kind of quality, logical, well thought out and well presented content. If I may suggest…just keep reminding yourself and them you were right about a possible trade of Russ well before it happened.

  51. cha says:

    Teeing up Rob for another video?

    https://www.nfl.com/news/bucky-brooks-2023-nfl-mock-draft-1-0-bills-giants-land-wide-receivers-in-round-1

    5. Tyree Wilson
    20. Jaxon Smith-Njigba

    Bresee at 6

    Levis at 9 to Carolina while Atlanta and LV take tackles

    Bijan at 21 to the Chargers

    Bucky also gives Richardson to Baltimore at 22

  52. GrittyHawk says:

    Great post, Rob! Crazy to me how some people can be so high on Geno after the way he ended the season. That is the exact reason I kept finding myself saying “ok well let’s see what he looks like at the end of the year” to rabid fans clamoring to sign him to an extension in October.

    Quick point of clarification, though:

    “Geno Smith saw only 48% of his turnover worthy plays actually result in an interception.

    If he’d thrown the 80.6% average like the rest of the QB’s in the top-10, he would’ve had 25 picks.”

    If I’m understanding correctly, he would have had 25 total turnovers, not picks. That includes fumbles. Not sure if PFF breaks those numbers down more granularly since I assume the rates of “successful” turnovers are different.

    So to go a level deeper, we can estimate that around 50% of QB fumbles are recovered by the defense (source: https://www.footballperspective.com/the-definitive-analysis-of-offensive-fumbles/). Geno had 8 fumbles, 4 of which were recovered, so he is right in line with expectations. If we assume 80.6% of his pickable pass attempts (total of 23) were in fact intercepted, he would have 18.5 (round up to 19). Adding the fumbles to that, we should have expected Geno to have 23 turnovers this year instead of his actual 15. I would also be curious what the overall NFL rates are, since it’s not really statistically valid to arbitrarily select the ‘top 10’ QBs.

    Not a major difference, I just happen to be a data analyst and love playing around with this stuff!

  53. cha says:

    Benjamin Allbright
    @AllbrightNFL
    From everything I’ve heard it doesn’t appear Sean Payton has much of a market.

    Jobs he wanted didn’t open, and outside of Denver (we’ll see about AZ) there just hasn’t been much interest.

    Strong possibility he goes back to TV.
    8:16 AM · Jan 24, 2023

    • geoff u says:

      It’s hard to evaluate coaches with hall of fame QB’s. Did Payton or Brees make that team so good? Was is Brady or Belichick? Well, only one of those two has won a super bowl without the other. QB is king, that’s why I’m all about drafting one.

  54. Old but Slow says:

    While I am not sure how pertinent it is but, I think too much is made of Pete’s age. It is hard to picture Pete sprinting down the sideline only to go to a rocking chair next year. Age is relative. I am several years older than Pete, which makes me old in years, but I am healthy, mentally mostly OK (for me), and while I may not be able to run like I could in my 20’s, I haven’t had a bear chasing me recently, so who knows?

    With his energy I very much doubt that his wife wants him hanging around the house all the time, he’d drive anyone nuts.

    Pete likely does not think of himself as too old for the job, and I expect he will be around as long as he is able.

    Senior Power!

  55. geoff u says:

    So IF the team improves next year, and we sign Geno to a big deal and his turnover percent regresses back to 80%, I doubt we win 9 games (with the tougher schedule). But we will win enough to pick around 15. What QB is the 15th pick going to get us next year? That’s quite the gamble.

    Taking a QB is really a no-brainer to me. We’re sitting at number 5 in what was once regarded as the best QB draft in awhile. It may not even take that much to move up if we need to, since anyone above us can get a few extra draft picks and still a top 5 player. Chicago, for example, could gain some picks to fill out their team and still get one of the top DL of the draft. That’s pretty enticing.

  56. Jordan says:

    I’d pay him, but I wouldn’t overpay him; and I guess it will be up to the market and the Seahawks to determine what that drop dead number is.

    In this league you can overpay for “great” and it can be justified and work out. But “great” is rare. Overpaying “good” is what gets you in trouble.

  57. Alex Higgins says:

    We have so many holes on defense and interior O-Line and a need for another receiver that I can’t get my head around signing Geno for $30M per year. Maybe we’ll win 9 games and squeak into the playoffs again but I’m not really interested in that. I’d rather see the team rebuild for a SB run. Therefore, I’m with those who’d like to give Drew Lock a chance and draft a QB. I’m also open to drafting a QB later than #5. If Carolina wants to move up, we could use the draft capital.
    I’d do a big “re-load” by cutting Jamal Adams (I’ve never seen anything great from him, even when healthy). I’d probably keep Quandre because you need some stability on defense. Let’s get some studs in the trenches this year!! And sign a couple of FAs while we’re at it.

  58. jed says:

    Another great article, thanks. Good discussion too.

    Here’s where I’m at, and it’s similar to a lot of the comments. Only sign Geno if it’s essentially the Carr deal – fine for one year and easy to get out of in year 2. Get a rookie QB this year if you can, even if you feel uncomfortable with trading up to get him.

    My reasoning is the tiers of QB play and contracts. Plus, I don’t like average at QB. Go for the top level and deal with failure if you miss, like the Jets did. I want a SB winning level guy since I’ve been spoiled with a SB win and I’m sick of an average team hoping to go on a run in the playoffs.

    Tom Brady tier: Brady only. He’s such an outlier that I can’t group him with anyone else.

    Expensive contracts that you’re happy to pay: Mahomes, Burrow (soon), Allen.

    Young guys about to get paid that you’re hoping you’re happy with but may turn out poorly: Herbert, Lawrence, Hurts, Lamar.

    Expensive contracts that you wish you could get out of, even though you thought you were happy to pay: Wilson, Rogers, Murry.

    Desperate team trying to shoot the moon with a schmuck: Watson

    Expensive Average-ish QB that needs a complete team and the QB to go on a heater to win: Carr, Stafford, Prescott, Cousins, Tannehill.

    Average-ish QBs that fell off a cliff and may not be in the league soon: Ryan, Wentz.

    Rookie QB or cheap backup vet: Everyone else.

    I just don’t think Geno will every be out of that average range. He’s great when he’s on a cheap veteran contract & you can build a complete team around him. Maybe you luck out with an Eagles/Foles or Rams/Stafford run. I just don’t like that style of team building and I think this Seahawks team is so far away from having a complete roster.

  59. Roy Batty says:

    So here’s a perfect example of an honest discussion, on the same radio network, between two different shows.

    Brock and Salk are in the Do Not Overpay Geno camp.

    Bump and Stacy are in the Pay Geno camp.

    No hyperbole, just honest opinions, welcoming any take that gives a reasonable argument for one side or the other.

  60. Ryan Purcell says:

    It’s strange that this article would be considered a controversial take! I’m a little conflicted about Geno myself but I do think resigning him makes sense for both sides. But NOT at 30 million! (The Diggs contract does make me worry. I do think we rend to overpay our own a little. Let’s hope it does not happen here.)

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s controversial only to a section of fans who strangely take massive offence to any suggestion Geno shouldn’t be retained at great expense. It’s odd how many of those fans exist online.

      • hoggs41 says:

        Most of them are just uneducated at football. They hear something once and thats all they hear afterwards. Sometimes you just have to have your own opinion.

      • Scot04 says:

        Most of them are the same ones that were saying RWs salary was why we couldn’t improve our team. Go figure….

      • Dregur says:

        Just looking at the top 20 QB salaries makes you realize that maybe paying for top dollar for maybe an above average QB is really not a great investment of cap dollars.

        • Matt says:

          It’s an epidemic in all major sports – overpaying “good players.” GMs are too paranoid to be seen as “not doing enough.”

          The Mariners will be handsomely rewarded for not spending $18M on someone like Conforto.

      • Ashish says:

        People who doesn’t understand salary cap and team building/dynamics will have hard time to understand. They just get emotional with players

    • Connor says:

      I’ll feel anxious at their ability to execute whatever course they choose. Feels like drafting a qb high is better process but I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the other options met better results.

  61. BK26 says:

    Article about prospects might get drafted too highly on Bleacher Report (that alone is a big part of the problem):

    “Although Levis stands a sturdy 6’3″, 232 pounds, is mobile and has a lot of the physical traits NFL teams look for in quarterbacks, he lacks a lot of the talent and decision-making skills that good signal-callers tend to possess.”

    “Levis simply hasn’t shown enough to warrant his sky-high draft stock and seems far more likely to bust out than become the type of star an early first-round selection should warrant.”

    IDK why no one was just that black and white: he just isn’t that talented! Problem solved, scratch him off our board. Saved me a lot of anxiety hoping to get him!

    • HOUSE says:

      I don’t know who wrote that article, but they clearly have not watched him play. Someone was strictly looking at game highlights and stat lines. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  62. Trevor says:

    Rob was just wondering if you have seen any tape on Cody Mauch from NDST? If so was wondering your thoughts. Have only seen clips and he looks really athletic and physical. Hard to get a read because of the quality of competition but looking forward to seeing him at the Senior Bowl. Initial thoughts were he might be an ideal Giard convert in the blocking scheme that Waldron wants to run.

  63. Shane says:

    Wow!!! Great article. Very logical & backed up with hard to argue examples of other comparable QB’s whose contracts appear to hand cuff their team’s cap space. As much as I loved Geno this season it’s hard to imagine I would have “loved Him” at $25-30 million a year. I couldn’t help but think all year the OC really put him in good situations to excel. Geno does throw a nice ball but 2nd half of season he was average at best. The cap situation to me means only 1 of 2 things. The Hawks front office are complete idiots in how they structured the contracts leading up to 2023 or they planned on drafting a QB this year when they traded Wilson. as much as I would love to sign Geno and stock up the defense. The cap situation does not allow that to happen so I would hope they stick with the plan on drafting a QB and just be happy that Geno made it such a tough decision. If they thought he was able to play that well they would have signed him to a 2-3 year contract prior to last season.

  64. Mr Lerf says:

    After maybe 2 years, I logged on and fixed my credit card info in patreon. Maybe….

  65. George says:

    Great article Rob – generating good discussion.

    That stat about ‘turnover worthy plays’ was eye popping!! And, since I dream to be a GM here we go….

    If I were JS, my first call is to Geno’s agent. It would go something like this…‘Hey Mr. Agent, Geno had a good year. We were very happy with Geno. Please know that Geno is a bridge QB (sniff). Please know that every other team in the NFL will view Geno as a bridge QB. Think Fitzpatrick, not Cousins! (deeper sniff). The question Geno needs to answer is ‘Does Geno want to be a bridge QB with the Seahawks or somewhere else?’.

    With this in mind and given Geno’s history with the Seahawks as an ‘average to good’ QB and team-first, popular leader, I would offer a very fair and cap-friendly 4-year $60M contract. $40M guaranteed.

    It’s a hedge. If we find a QB we love at #5, we draft them and let them marinate for a year (or less). If we don’t find a QB we love at #5 we could possibly trade down and pick up a #1 next year and try again. We’ll go another year with Geno and spend this draft revamping the defence and interior O-line.

    Initially, Geno will likely be offended by the offer but once he’s had time to calm down, he’ll look in the mirror and realize how tired he is of the one-year, prove-it contracts and how he misses the stability of guaranteed money. He’ll take a deeper look in the mirror and come to the realization that he loves being a Seahawk and that nobody will value a 33-yr.old, journeyman, career-back-up, the way he does in his dreams.

    If we find a QB in this draft, Geno’s salary is not prohibitive. For the QB position, we’ll still only have dedicated a modest amount, circa $20M ($15M +$5M rookie).

    If Geno accepts the offer, great! If not, we move on with Drew. No hard feelings. It would be a mistake to commit major dollars and term to Geno. To me, Waldron made enough gains this year that showed he could scheme Drew to be potentially Geno, the Sequel.

    • Nick says:

      First off George, great comment. I agree completely, and brilliant commentary too

      I’m with Mike Salk on this( I can’t believe I just typed those words!), Does anyone really think we can build a SUPER BOWL winning roster, paying Geno 30 mill a year?

      We can be 9-8, 10-6, 8-8 in perpetuity with Geno. I don’t think he will ever hoist a Lombardi trophy with us, or elsewhere. I love the guy as a person.

      I genuinely hope one of the NFL most desperate franchises overpays him, wish him the best and continue to draft like last year and lets cut bait at safety too

      Roll with lock, find one in the draft at 5 or anywhere else for the matter(DTR)

  66. Brian Chase says:

    Is there a possible scenario where this team drafts a QB and also spends considerable draft capital on additional offensive players as maybe a quicker path back to the top with a defense that doesn’t seem close to being good enough?

    • Cysco says:

      I’ve advocated for the same thing.

      Draft a QB, Interior offensive line, x-factor 3rd receiver.

      Aim to have the best young offensive line in the league and build a top-5 offense.

      Spend 2nd-round picks and on on defense and clear cap space and re-invest on quality defensive players.

      KC has shown you can win with elite offense and average defense. I think we’re closer to that model than we are to building an elite defense.

      • DC1234 says:

        I would want the seahawks to be a top 5 offense and focus more on that side of the ball.

        But i dont think Pete will want or willing to do that. He is intent on building a elite defense (which he has failed for the past few years)

        KC has Andy Reid. Seattle has Pete

    • cha says:

      If the Seahawks get a QB at 5, and somehow Bijan or Mayer is there at 20, grabbing either is imminently defensible.

    • UkAlex6674 says:

      Yes. People need to realise we can’t and won’t recreate the LOB. We just need an above average to good D. And it’s achievable if we draft well and don’t blow the (small wad in FA.

  67. Cysco says:

    Serious question:

    Has anyone seen anything from any other fanbase where they are excited about the prospects of landing Geno Smith in the offseason?

    I sure haven’t.

    That should tell us everything we need to know.

    • Matt says:

      Great question…*literally* nothing.

      There has been no clamoring, in any way.

      • Cysco says:

        Exactly. Literally, the only fanbase that wants him is Seattle.

        So how is any other front office going to try and sell a $20+M multi-year deal to their fanbase for Geno freak’n Smith? They just can’t. Free agent QB signings need to build excitement and hope. They’re massive investments into the face of your franchise for years to come.

        I just can’t see any other team looking at Geno as anything other than a short-term rental to hold them over until they figure out what to do with the QB position long term.

        • cha says:

          Another nuance that the “sign Geno for a two-tag guaranteed minimum” crowd seem suspiciously quiet on.

          To leverage that big of a contract, you need at least one very strong suitor, and probably two very interested suitors.

          Who are they?

    • BobbyK says:

      Exactly.

      Question: If you were the GM of any other NFL franchise… would you want to go out and “get” Geno… “pay the man”…

      Answer: Hell, no!

  68. Jaymo says:

    There is a growing middle class of quarterbacks.

    There are a 2-5 elite qb that transcend and take their teams to another level (Mahomes, Burrow, Allen are the only ones imo)
    and less and less abysmal offense stopping qbs (Zach Wilson)

    There is a market inefficiency when middle class qbs are being paid top dollar. If the argument that running backs don’t matter exists, what happens when a seventh round qb in Brock Purdy is running an offense effectively do to that exact narrative. (Yes I believe both matter, and sometimes you fan get lucky and find good talent later regardless of draft position)
    I believe passers are getting better in general. While of course I would love a top end QB, I dont want that as an expense to a top end team.
    Im in the minority, I’m not in favor paying much more than Geno is making now. I wouldn’t hate it if he got paid 30mill, but it feels counterintuitive to Carroll’s initial vision;make the team the best ot can be first, make it is easy as possible for the position, then find the right qb to put in the system. Wilson messed that up, and paying Geno feels like a familiar mistake.

    Use the resources to build a fast, physical defense.
    I was reading how best defenses usually have athletes out of highschool 4 to 5 star rating and offensive athletes were more like 2.5. Hawks needs a defense that wins as soon as they get off the bus.

    • BobbyK says:

      I’d argue Rodgers is still in that class. Or if Burrow didn’t have Chase, he’d be where you’d have Rodgers. If Rodgers still had Adams, he’d never have left that category. Mahomes has a HOF TE and Allen has Diggs (who usually pull a Pete Carroll and lose early together).

      I believe Geno could take a team to the Super Bowl, but the team would have to be unusually great. Like a fortress OL, great weapons, great defense, and ST. Since this isn’t fantasy land, it’s probably not going to happen. Trent Dilfer makes it possible, but that’s like blowing your paycheck before paying rent because you’re banking on winning the PowerBall.

  69. HOUSE says:

    Excellent article Rob! I love that your articles inspire discussion and not just dictate your feelings and nobody else. I took a look at the 2023 salary cap hits for quarterbacks currently under contract. Quarterbacks 1-10 range from (high to low) $54M to $30M and QBs 11-20 go from $26M to 10M. The number stated there currently include Derek Carr, but does not include Tom Brady.

    I see Geno’s $$$ slotting somewhere in that 2nd tier and there are several guys in there under their rookie contracts. I truly wish we could get Pete Carrol’s real feelings, and not positive conjecture, regarding our ability to compete this coming season. With things currently in place, cutting some players and paying Geno Smith almost $30M, I don’t see this a Superbowl contending team even with another amazing draft class. Why wouldn’t we go the route of adding defense (Payne, Buckner or Hargrave) and use a stopgap like Drew Lock at a much lower cost? Cars like Trevor, Siemian, and Nick Foles are making roughly $3-3.5M next season and Colt McCoy is making $5M. I would have to think that Drew Lock his gotta be near that.

  70. Scott says:

    Oh no. You know who Austin is, right? I might have to frame this one.

  71. AlaskaHawk says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this but I hear zero buzz about a Geno Smith signing somewhere else. The news is full of talk about the Lamar Jackson contract, and speculation about Carr. But nothing about Geno Smith. Makes you think.

  72. Olyhawksfan says:

    If this offense is so quarterback friendly, then it shouldn’t be such a risk to draft a QB at 5… would be a question to the ‘to risky drafting a QB’ crowd.

  73. HOUSE says:

    I know it’s not Geno-related, but Sean Desai interviewing with MIN for their open DC job.
    https://bleacherreport.com/post/seattle-seahawks/54a3f8c7-3363-411e-af91-3cbc74193d2b

  74. Mr drucker in hooterville says:

    I’ve gone from “sure, sign Geno as a bridge” for $15m x2” to now I am rooting against Geno and will take Drew for $15m/2 years.

  75. Rob Staton says:

    DTR and Will Levis both working together with Jordan Palmer pre-draft

  76. Sled Dog says:

    Bring in Minshew as the bridge guy and see what he can do. His personality and love for the game would be awesome. Draft the QB that fits best and let him learn rather than throw him to the wolves.

  77. Forrest says:

    Could the Seahawks be in play? Could Bezos be using this news about the Commanders as a reason to sell the Washington Post and get the most value out of a troubled asset? Could we see Bezos pivot and make a play for the Hawks?

    https://nypost.com/2023/01/23/jeff-bezos-will-sell-washington-post-to-buy-commanders-investors/amp/

  78. Peanut says:

    I personally have such troubles understanding how there is any conversation other than drafting a QB, if one is there, at 5. All of the top 4 QBs have huge potential, and how often does a team get a chance to pick so high with actual QBs to choose from? Last year there was so much talk about waiting for this year to pick one, and now we get to pick one of the top ones. Being blinded by a team that performed way better than we could hope should not stop the QB pick. The only way the team finds itself in this position again is having a Denver season. Which is what we all probably thought we would get.

    This season I was hoping to see a team that had some spark, some future and hopefully a top 10-pick. Now “we” have a top-5, go get the player that will give you the most success. To me, that´s a QB. Pick one, have him sit behind a veteran, wether thats Geno on a tag or Drew Lock, doesn´t really matter to me. Have him learn the ways then take over in his 2nd year.

    TL;DR: Pick the QB, hope it´s Will Levis, plan for 5 years instead of 1. Planning for a year at a time gave us the Jamal Adams trade and Sheldon Richardson rental.

  79. Hebegbs says:

    Fantastic article.

    I am personally all in and in favor of QB at 5. 4 really good QB’s in a QB starved league. #5 is a gift and a pick we are not likely to have again any time soon. Go for it Js!

  80. Frank Hardin says:

    Fantastic article has taken me from resign Geno to go for qb at (5) to not spend the money for Geno. Think he can get $30,000 plus as fa.

    Mock Draft 1)

    My plan is 1) resign Drew Lock as bridge qb than following draft w/ trade of our 1(20 for Dallas 1(26) and Dallas 3(80) (just because I think they will as usual.

    1 (5) qb. Will Levis, Kentucky 6.3 232
    1(26) de. Keion White, Georgia Tech 6.5 290
    2 (37) ilb. Drew Sanders, Arkansas 6.4 245
    2 (52) d. J.L Skinner, Boise State 6.4 220
    3 (80) de. Andre Carter, Army 6.7 260
    3 (83) og. Darnell Wright, Tennessee 6.6 335
    4 (122) c. Jordan Mcfadden, Clemson 6.2 310
    5 (151) rb. Tank Bigsby, Auburn 6.0 210
    5 (154) wr. Zakhari Franklin, Texas-San Antonio 6.1 185
    6(197) s. Jammie Roberson, Florida State 5.11205

    Hope would be for strength coach could build up Andre Carter about 30- pounds plus and move him up to dl.

  81. Hawkhomer1 says:

    Great article Rob!

    I trust JS at QB evaluations. Not sure I trust his DL evals.

    I think the J. Myers signing is a smokescreen to the league and I am hoping a QB falls to us at 5.

    Going to be a fun draft to follow.

  82. […] Perhaps — but you can also counter that with the info Hugh Millen highlighted on KJR last week, as noted in an article on this blog: […]

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