Curtis Allen guest post: The options with Geno Smith

This is a guest post written by Curtis Allen…

The Seahawks have set themselves up for another very intriguing offseason.  They’ve already made the biggest decision a team can make – saying goodbye to the one person responsible for the roster, coaching staff and the gameday implementation of both.

There are several other critical decisions to be made.  As most of us are aware, the Seahawks currently do not have any salary cap room to spend in 2024 at this moment in time.  While they have plenty of ‘movable’ money in the form of non-guaranteed salary and roster bonuses that can be eliminated or otherwise adjusted, some difficult decisions will need to be made — and soon.

We will be tracking and providing analysis of the overall roster and salary cap to keep everyone aware of the options available to the team, as well as the costs and benefits.

Perhaps the biggest piece of that roster (and likely the first roster choice they will have to consider – more on that below) is deciding on Geno Smith.

When a Head Coach is no longer with the team and the starting quarterback is not an entrenched franchise-level player locked into an immovable long-term contract, there will always be questions about his future with the team.  Fair or not, NFL teams’ success begins with that position.

In the case of the Seahawks though, we have an extra layer of intrigue.  Pete Carroll, in his season-ending press conference gave an extremely strong endorsement of Smith, pointing to him as a ‘team strength.’  Days after his dismissal, John Schneider gave a much more sober and balanced answer when asked to assess Smith’s play in 2023.  It is fair to say that the ground the 33-year-old quarterback was standing on got softer with Carroll no longer at the head of the table.

The contract the Seahawks signed Smith to last year gives the team options and flexibility.  It was structured to be revisited after the 2023 season, no matter what the results were on the field.

Let’s review it for ourselves and look at what options the Seahawks have.  We need to start by looking at how Smith did in 2023.

A Brief Look at His Season

John Schneider’s response to the question perfectly encapsulated Smith’s performance this year.  It was ‘good.’  There were things to like and things that were not up to snuff.  Consistently good performances were elusive, just as they were in 2022.  But on a high view level, the overall numbers declined badly.

That is where we need to start.  Numbers are cold and they remove feelings from the equation.  Particularly when we are talking about what an amazing feel-good story that we have all witnessed since trading Russell Wilson away.  This year, Pete Carroll constantly deflected criticism away from his quarterback and presented an extremely positive view of him when asked in press conferences about his occasionally spotty performances.  Such an influential figure speaking that way often shapes a good portion of the narrative for fans.

Context is also critical.

In Smith’s contract, he wagered heavily on himself in 2023, agreeing to escalators for the four major quarterback statistics (plus one team achievement – a playoff appearance) were he to exceed the prior season’s numbers, with as much as $15 million extra dollars available to him.  How did he do?

He was not able to earn any of the escalators.  In fact, he fell well short of the four passing targets.

How short?  So much so, we need to have a look at his performance to assess his future with the team.  His overall performance this year was far less effective than 2022.

Smith played all 17 games in 2022 but only 15 this year, missing the second San Francisco game and the Philadelphia game with injury.  To get a true apples-to-apples comparison, I took his average production over the 15 games and credited him with 2 more games to get a fair representation.  The results are very interesting:

That is a lot of red.  His numbers dropped in every standard quarterback statistic, except for a significant decrease in sacks and hits and a slight improvement in interceptions.

Of particular concern are the touchdowns, completion percentage and the rushing first downs.  We will take them one at a time and give them some context.


Going from 30 touchdowns to a projected 23 is a major drop.  Smith went from an excellent #6 in the NFL last season all the way down to #20.  The only notable quarterback below him was Trevor Lawrence, with a projected 22 touchdown passes.

Where did the drop in touchdowns come from?  The answer is both revealing and troubling.

Last year, thirteen of Smith’s touchdown passes were of the explosive variety, travelling further than twenty yards.  This year?  Only four went that far.  For added context, one of those four only had a few inches of air on it, as Smith dumped the ball off to Kenneth Walker just past the line of scrimmage in Week Ten against Washington and he took it for a 64-yard touchdown.

To take it a step further, how many touchdown throws were not explosives but still in the healthy 15–19-yard range?  Last year:  five.  This year:  two.

Only six touchdown passes of 15 yards or more.  Last year?  Smith had eighteen.

Those numbers scan when you compare the overall passing statistics from the two seasons.

In 2022, Smith’s passing yards were split between 59% yards before the catch (aka air yards) and 41% yards after the catch.

In 2023?  The numbers went down to 53% / 47%.

That is nearly a 10% swing in rate, which is backed up by Smith’s average depth of target.  It went down from 7.6 yards downfield last year to 7.0 yards this year.  That is an 8% drop and that took him from the middle of the pack to one of the shortest-distance throwers in the NFL, ranking #23 in terms of average pass depth among full time starters.

In and of itself, that strategy is perfectly fine.  Shortening up the field in the ever-quickening NFL is a choice you can stand behind easily.

However, the biggest selling point of shorter passes reveals an even more troubling downturn for Smith in 2023.

Completion Percentage

When you shorten up your passing game, the expectation is that accuracy will improve and the sticks can move more freely.  A nice side benefit of this style comes in the red zone.  An established routine of short, quick passes should yield a higher rate of touchdowns in tighter confines.

Did the Seahawks receive either of those benefits from shortening up their passing game in 2023?  No, they did not.

Smith’s accuracy suffered a shocking drop from the previous year.  In 2022 he was the most accurate passer in the NFL.  It was a stunning achievement for a ‘new’ starter who was not being bottle-fed the offense but regularly making highlight reel plays with his deep throws.

This year we witnessed a regression to the middle of the pack, as he was #15 in the NFL.  We need context in order to grasp this change.

I charted the last five years of NFL quarterback play, noting the year-to-year accuracy change for all quarterbacks that played a combination of at least 30 games in that two-year stretch.

Only two quarterbacks in that sample had a bigger accuracy drop from one year to the next than Smith did in 2023:  Josh Allen from 2020 to 2021 (69.2% to 63.3%) and Derek Carr from 2021 to 2022 (68.4% to 60.8%).

Josh Allen is everyone’s favorite statistical anomaly.  The 69.2% is more of an outlier as his career completion rate over six seasons is 63.2%.  It should also be noted that in 2021 he threw 36 touchdowns, ran for another six, led the team in rushing first downs and took them to the AFC Championship game that year.  All that took most of the sting out of that accuracy drop.

Derek Carr’s drop is more simply explained.  Advocates Jon Gruden and Rich Bisaccia were not brought back in 2022.  Josh McDaniels was hired and there was a big offensive and tonal change and he and Carr never got on the same page.  A parting of ways was best for all involved and Carr was benched to avoid paying his guaranteed money should he be injured and then in the offseason moved on to New Orleans.

Keep in mind, Carr immediately rebounded with the Saints this year, posting a 68.4% completion rate, #3 in the NFL for quarterbacks who started all 17 games.  Also, he has a healthy history of accuracy, with four seasons of throwing for 68% or better.

Does Smith have a running tool or a high-leverage touchdown tool like Allen does to mitigate a drop in completion percentage?  Does he have multiple years of sustained accuracy to earn the benefit of the doubt like Carr has?  Particularly when you add in that he will be entering his age-34 year this fall?

No, he does not.

We need to dive a little deeper into what caused this drop in accuracy.

Decision Making Has Been a Challenge

As I said above, a shorter passing game typically yields a better overall completion rate and better red zone efficiency.

We know that the overall completion rate dropped significantly.  But were there any red zone gains?  No.  The Seahawks only improved from #27 in the NFL last year to #26.  Smith had nine touchdown throws inside of 10 yards last year.  This year?  He projected out to have eleven.  A slight improvement but not what you would expect.  That does make sense when you watch his play in the red zone.  He seems indecisive at times and then rushes throws when the protection breaks down.

Another area to consider is assessing his options after the ball has been hiked.

One point I have consistently mentioned over the course of this season is that Smith has scaled way back on running and scrambling.  His runs dropped from 68 last year to 37 this year, nearly cutting them in half.  He only picked up ten first downs, compared to twenty-four last year.

How important is that?  It tipped the run/pass balance in a very interesting direction.  The Seahawks were the fifth heaviest passing team in the NFL (and therefore the fifth lightest running team) in terms of play selection this year.  It represented a nearly 4% swing towards passing from 2022, on a Pete Carroll-led team no less.

And yet, as you see above, the pass production did not increase proportionally.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

Interestingly, Smith has had nearly the same amount of time in the pocket this year as last year, with 2.4 seconds recorded by Pro Football Reference for both seasons.

With Smith choosing to scramble far less often or take a designed run this year, it is not hard to see why Hurries had such a spike.  PFR defines a hurry as “a situation when the QB is forced to throw the ball earlier than intended or is chased around/out of the pocket as the result of defensive pressure.”

If you do not get rid of the ball quickly and you are not inclined to run, you are going to get Hurried.

And yet, the passing production stats gained by the choice do not justify the sacrifice of not running the ball and picking up those easy yards when they are available.

We have seen and commented on Smith’s lack of crisp decision-making this year many times.  It has shown up in chunks of games – quarters or even halves – resulting in no real movement from the offense.  Games like Week One against the Rams, Week Three against the Panthers, Week Eight against the Browns and Week Twelve against the Forty-Niners showed Smith at times to be hesitant, struggling to progress through his reads and then often throwing into well-covered windows.

While it is positive that he improved in PFF’s Turnover-Worthy Plays, from worst in the NFL last year to “only” the sixth worst.  But it is still a troubling number.

Also, we have witnessed poor decision-making and execution from Smith at key times this season:  Week Two against the Lions (taking a 17-yard sack very late), Week Six against the Bengals (taking too long and being sacked/hit on fourth down in the red zone – twice), Week Eleven against the Rams (the end of game run call that wasted time), and Week Thirteen against the Cowboys (the fourth down throw at Deejay Dallas’ feet that sealed the loss), among others.

While Smith had several late-game drives that tied or won the game for the Seahawks, there are games lost that his mistakes greatly contributed to as well. If the offense cannot consistently build a lead and must rely on desperation drives to get wins, the ‘why not’ of it bears examination as well.

Some Conclusions

Let’s be clear, not every single problem or challenge I commented on above is Smith’s fault through and through.  On the contrary, one of the reasons for the organization parting ways with Pete Carroll is they had become stale and had been unable to correct the situation.

The defense was awful this year.  No doubt some of those game-winners engineered by Smith were necessary because the defense could not get off the field to protect a lead.

The Offensive Line had to be patched together due to severe injury at times.  The numbers show they were not much worse than 2022 in pass protection but the run-blocking was wanting.  The team’s rushers dropped from a robust 4.8 yards per carry last year (good for #5 in the NFL) to a middling 4.1 yards per carry (#17).

Not every play call and resulting bad play was directly on Smith.  The whole team’s lack of preparation is not on him either.

Jason Myers missed a makable field goal try to win that Rams game.

This may feel like a hit piece on Smith, an attempt to run him out of town on a rail to match the fresh start the Seahawks will see in the Personnel and Head Coaching stations.  It is not.

It is simply the cost of leading the team and getting a huge contract.  You must make it work and this year, accomplishing that has been a real struggle for Smith.

I do think a fresh start at General Manager and Head Coach will beget a fresh look at the player at the team’s most important position.

Smith’s late game-winning drives have been well-documented.  I think we are very familiar with the positives that he brings to the table.  This is an attempt to fill out the discussion a bit.  Given what we have discussed, a $31.2 million cap hit does seem like an awful lot to swallow and hope for a rebound season.

Based on what we have discussed and the fact that the organization has undergone big changes, if the Seahawks do decide to make a drastic change this offseason, it should not surprise anyone.

With that said, what options do the Seahawks have with his contract?  There are several.

The Seahawks Have a Multiplicity of Choices

See the chart below for the most logical options the Seahawks have to either make a change to the roster or pick up some salary cap flexibility:

The top line of the chart shows the cap effect of Smith’s contract with no changes.  If the team does nothing, that is how their cap plays out.  That is our baseline.

Note: The numbers underneath the top option are taken from Over The Cap but they do not precisely reflect the site’s cap savings and dead cap numbers.  Why not?  The salary is correctly shown currently as non-guaranteed at this time.

Per Brady Henderson of ESPN, he has confirmed that Smith’s $12.7 million salary for 2024 becomes fully guaranteed five days after the waiver period (The Super Bowl on February 11), so if the Seahawks want to avoid locking that large salary in for 2024, they will need to move quickly and get something done before February 16.

That is our next baseline, a clean shaking of the hands and parting ways and the first option shown.  They will have to eat $17.4 million in dead cap money but they gain a precious $13.8 million in cap room and could resign someone like Drew Lock and spend the rest on other parts of the roster.  The $9.6 million roster bonus comes off the books and vanishes.

An unconventional but possible option would be to take this step, let Smith explore his market and then approach him about coming back.  It is very tricky to pull off but possible given the goodwill the Seahawks have earned with him over the years.

The next three choices involve converting money to a signing bonus and spreading that money into future seasons.  They are very simple operations and in my opinion are the most likely.  It will just be up to the Seahawks to decide how aggressive on the cap they want to be this year.  This is a familiar option for the team, as they utilized it last year with Tyler Lockett, Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams.

— They can convert the $9.6 million Roster Bonus due March 18 to a Signing Bonus and split it in half and gain $4.8 million and push the same amount to 2025 (must be done by March 18)

— They can convert a maximum of $11.05 million of Smith’s $12.7 million 2024 salary into a signing bonus and gain $5.525 million and push the same amount to 2025 (note – this is flexible.  They can convert less if they like.  I just took it all the way down to the minimum 2024 salary for a 7+ year NFL veteran of $1.65 million, which is the most you are allowed)

— They can double-dip and convert both.  They would gain $10.325 million and push the same amount to 2025.

Then we come to the least desirable but potential option:  trading Smith once the League Year starts on March 13 but before the Roster Bonus comes due March 18.  The Seahawks are free to negotiate anytime to trade Smith but it cannot be processed until the new league year starts.  That is what makes it difficult.  A team will be acquiring Smith with a $12.7 million guaranteed salary and then agreeing to pay or convert the $9.6 million signing bonus.  If Smith does not have more than one team seriously interested, the sole team could squeeze the Seahawks right up to that deadline and acquire him for a song.

There is one more choice not listed on the chart we should discuss.

The Path to Renegotiation

From now and proceeding until the all-important February 16 Salary Guarantee Day, the Seahawks have no new guaranteed money on Smith’s contract.  They are only responsible for the $17.4 million of signing bonus money that is left over from the contract he signed last year that needs to be accounted for on the salary cap, and currently it is split in two chunks of $8.7 million, one for 2024 and one for 2025.

There is an opportunity to approach Smith and his agent and negotiate to tear the contract up and rework it and make it beneficial for both sides.  They would only need to account for that $17.4 million from the current contract.  Other than that, they are free to come up with all kinds of options to make it work for both parties.

It would take a negotiator’s touch to get this done, though.  If they approach Smith’s team right now with the idea that they either need to make the salary cap work better, or their analysis indicates that they just cannot afford to play him on a $31.2 million cap hit in 2024, they must have a Plan B in place, ready to go should they desire to walk away before that February 16 deadline.

In that vein, should be noted that teams can negotiate with and sign their own unrestricted free agents like Lock at any time.  They do not have to wait for the new league year to start in March.

This would require some quick work.  Hiring a new Head Coach, getting his input on Smith as well as evaluating the other options via free agency and the draft would call for some late nights and energy drinks.  It can be done though.  How?

First off, as I mentioned, this contract was agreed to with the idea that it would be reworked at some point along the line.  It would be negligent for either side to claim they are being blindsided and express surprise that the other party would like to go back to the table.

Just as a theoretical exercise, let’s flip the scenario to Smith’s advantage.  Imagine Smith had hit every single escalator target this year and claimed his $15 million prize.  The Seahawks would have a massive $46 million cap number for him in 2024.  The chance they would ride with that huge number – especially given their other cap space constraints – is very slim.  They would contact him in good faith and try to both reward his fantastic play and give them some cap relief.  The same would also be true if Smith failed to deliver a good season.  Which is far closer to what happened in 2023.  And that is fine for $10 million in cap dollars.  But is it fine for over triple that amount?  That is the crux of the matter.

Secondly, hiring a new Head Coach does not reset the entire organization and roster to where John Schneider would all the sudden need to start fresh with a lot of homework to do in evaluating Smith’s 2023 season.  He has already done that, has a firm grasp on where the team and the organization stand.  In Head Coaching interviews, both sides would want the Seahawks’ quarterback situation to be very high on the list of interview topics.  If the team makes a Head Coaching hire without being in lock-step on the quarterback currently on the roster… let’s just say that will not happen.

What will happen to Smith and his contract and cap number?  I do not know.  The Seahawks themselves probably do not know for sure.  It is too early in the process to really know.  One thing that feels certain though — some kind of change will come to the quarterback room, the salary cap, or both, for the Seahawks in 2024.

Note from Rob — big thank you to Curtis for this thorough, engaging analysis of Geno’s contract. I’ve also done a video today discussing my top-three candidates to replace Pete Carroll. You can watch it below and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a video:



  1. STTBM

    I’m no fan of Geno, but there are two major changes to the offense that likely also had a massive effect on Genoa play: one is Canales his an coach leaving, and the second is Carl Tater Smith and Carrol getting all up in Waldrons business, as evidenced by the incredibly stale and conservative Red Zone offense this year, the fifth of passing attempts between the hashmarks, and Genos obvious fear of making the wrong decision. Last year you didn’t see that. What changed? Where have we seen this before? Qb coach changed, and it was Year Two of Carl Smith coming back. You can go all the way back to the years CS coached Bledsoe and see similar stuff: less TDs, by a good margin, slight drop in ints and rise in comp percentage, definite switch to long balls where you lob it up rather than hit the receiver in stride.

    As much as I agree that Geno ain’t great, not taking those three into account–Canales leaving, PC and CS meddling–would be an incomplete analysis, in my opinion.

    Other than that, I thought your piece was excellent, well-reasoned, and thoughtful.

    Thank you for giving us some real analysis to read!

    • cha

      That could have been a factor. I think a 3600 word piece couldn’t muse on every possible reason.

      The problem is, if a change in simply a QB coach while maintaining the play caller and head coach truly was a problem for Geno, all the more reason to take action on his contract now.

      Because in 2024, they will have an entirely new staff and Geno’s cap hit will have tripled.

      • STTBM

        Cha, I agree it’s time to address his contract once we have a set staff. And if he isn’t retained I won’t cry, I think Lock is a step up in potential for less cost.

        A QB coach can be very important, especially for subpar or merely good QBs. Nobody in their right mind thinks Geno is elite. But I agree, a QB coach being such a a big deal is a bit of an indictment of the QB.

        You make a good point, 3600 words is quite in depth, I hope I didn’t come across as being pissy. I love reading your articles on SDB. Thank you for taking the time to write!

        • cha

          All good

      • Elmer

        I saw a mock draft recently that had the Hawks going for a QB with their first pick. IMO not a wise choice because it was JJ McCarthy of Michigan. Certainly it makes financial sense not to pay Smith’s salary in 2024 but this choice might not be better than Lock.

  2. Mr drucker in hooterville

    So Rob, hypothetically if HOU loses and DET stays in it and they believe that Johnson is likely for WASH, do they wait for Johnson or just close the deal on Slowick?

    • Rob Staton

      If that was their plan, I think you just go and get Slowik

  3. ShowMeYourHawk

    Bravo, Curtis. 🙌🏽 Nothing better than a read that focuses on fact and not just feelings.

    Personally, I’d only retain Geno if he’s willing to renegotiate. He can be a quality bridge for a season, provided we FINALLY draft a QBOTF option this coming draft. Even then, I’d be testing the waters for potential trade partners that view themselves as playoff ready but are missing a QB and whose coaches don’t have the time or desire to teach up a drafted QB. Pittsburgh and Atlanta spring to mind as potential landing spots for Geno that fit this criteria, especially if Belichick lands in ATL.

    • Parallax

      Personally, I’d like to see them cut Geno and give Lock a real chance. They insisted on including him in the Wilson trade because they saw his potential. Why not give him a chance in a transitional year? Shed as much cap space as possible on guys like Geno, Jamal, Diggs and Dislly. Find a less expensive kicker. Take a QB and some O linemen in the draft. Use the opened cap space to sign some defensive line guys. That can include Williams in the price is reasonable.

      Then, 2025 would be a real chance to reset. If the 2024 QB pick wasn’t working out, pick another one in 2025. Take chances but make sure they’re smart chances. Spend draft picks and cap space wisely. Cutting someone and giving a young guy a chance can be a smart chance.

  4. Whit21

    Could be interesting.. might have to make an executive decision if other teams hone in on slowik and it becomes a battle for the #2 option..

    Just like when Josh Mcdaniels agreed to be the HC with Indy and then backed out to stay with the patriots.. you can chance it, but with the buzz on Johnson leaning towarda commanders, not sure how you can wait another week unless JS has vrabel ahead of slowik in his rankings..

  5. Joseph

    Hope Bens interview today went well enough to move on.

    I’m torn between keeping Geno and drafting his successor to sit and watch or get rid of Geno this offseason and draft his successor. Either way we need to draft a qb soon.

  6. Mr drucker in hooterville

    I am fine with moving on from Carroll’s QB.

    • DarrellDownUnder

      This please.

  7. BrandoK

    Some counter points of the pro Geno crowd talk about is that he’s a the leader of the team but then when you listen to when KJ Wright was asked who are the leaders of this team are and Geno’s name was mentioned he just rolled his eyes. Geno is not the answer at best he is a bridge QB that should not be making anywhere near what he’s getting paid. I’m willing to roll the dice and let Geno go and then signing Drew Lock and drafting a QB. You should not be tied to Geno like Pete Carrol was. I just want a fresh start I know what Geno is and its just not exciting to watch or root for in a new team.

    On another note just realizing that this team can finally not have Deejay Dallas as the KR/PR.

    • BK26

      But then after the last game, the team just HAVE to bring him back, per KJ….

  8. UkAlex6674

    Texans currently showing the virtues of having a D minded head coach.

    Great display so far by them.

    • Rob Staton

      They’re a talented team

      I don’t think this is ‘the virtue of having a defensive minded coach’

      • BK26

        Yeah, if that’s the case, the special-team minded coach for the Ravens had a bad game since they gave up a punt return for a td.

  9. hoggs41

    Sorry to go off topic but I know there is some UK followers in here as well as Rob. I will be at Villa/ Newcastle next week in Birmingham and have to get 7 people to Manchester after the game. Last train leaves at 10pm and game won’t be over . Looking g for locals opinions on transportation.

    • Sneekes

      There is an 11pm National Express coach from Digbeth to Manchester. You’d need to get a cab from Villa Park sharpish.
      Megabus is an option too, but the timing is even tighter.

      Sneekes (ex of Dudley)

  10. Andy J

    Thanks Cha for this great write-up.

    Quick question: I don’t know the specifics, but why could the Seahawks not keep Geno, guarantee his bonus/contract, and trade him after draft? Overthecap says that we would only be on the hook for $8.8 million and would free up $22.5 million. My supposition is that no team would want to eat that contract. But I could see a team that has big hopes, loses their QB1 (like the Jets, Vikings, Broncos this year), is willing to eat some of that contract, and trade us a half-decent 2025 draft pick.

    • cha

      Do you mean post june 1 trade?

      If they went that route it would mean they’d be eating his $9.6m roster bonus on top of his $8.7m prorated

      So it would gain them $12.9m of room in 2024, but also would take another $8.7m off the 2025 cap.

      I don’t this it’s worth keeping him around AND getting another QB to take the top spot.

      That trade would have to be something that is totally unplanned by all parties

      • Andy J

        Cool. Thank you!

  11. Big Mike

    Thanks for the great breakdown of both his season and his contract situation cha. Gonna be a very interesting month in Seahawk land.

  12. Hebegbs

    Geno is ok. Not great, not bad. Drew Lock is likely more bad than good. But what is the overall mean in games won or lost in 2024 between the two? IMO, who cares. The difference isn’t enough to compete in the playoffs and we saw that this year and last with Geno. …Move on from Geno just as you did from PC.

    Next year is a building year. We have talent but not enough and we have other cap problem players like Diggs and Adams (and others)

    I’d expect next year with Lock at the helm we are likely a 5/12 team. Could be worse. Doubtfully much better. Hopefully we grab a QB in the 24’ draft and we start to see something of a solid team appearing in 25’. And start to see the trenches built and the expensive safeties disappear.

    • Parallax

      Starting Lock after the Philly game would not have been enough to save Carroll’s job because the defense was horrid and he clearly had no answers. But it could have signaled a willingness to take some chances going forward. If I had been advising him, I’d have also said he needs to stop the positive speak, stop defending players, make clear that certain guys need to go. Make sure Adams is at the top of that list. Then the future wouldn’t have felt so completely hopeless as long as Pete remained in charge.

      Perhaps too little to late to save his job. Obviously, if it were possible turn back the clock, I’d advise all sorts of changes. Like not trading for Williams. Or being really bold and trading Lockett before the deadline, when some team might have overpaid. And making space for Melton on the depth chart. And giving Bobo more targets.

  13. Gross MaToast

    Interesting read, cha. It really seems that some form of renegotiation works for both sides.

    Watching the Texans-Ravens, it seems that Slowik is getting a hell of a lot of face time and multiple mentions from Troy. Interesting.

  14. Wilson502

    Looks like the Ravens have got this iced. JS better be preparing a full court press on Slowik.

  15. nfendall

    Great write up Curtis! I would like to see them restructure Geno’s contract so he can come back next season to be a bridge and draft a QB for him to mentor.

    • cha

      Thanks nfendall

  16. Zane

    If Schneider really wants to be aggressive and bold I’d prefer taking a shot on MacDonald to the offensive gurus. He just has a vibe about him, comes off extremely sharp and composed.

    • JP

      Hopefully Mike Macdonald interviews well.

  17. nfendall

    I really want to see Baltimore vs Buffalo. I think that would be an excellent game.

  18. Whit21

    The design is there for the texans.. their o line is getting pushed around and ravens are executing better..

    Is that on slowik or just a more physical ravens D..

    I lean towards an over-achieving texans offense/team

    • Big Mike

      Houston’s offensive line has been dominated this game.

    • Sneekes

      I think it’s the Ravens D. They just seem to be in the right place all the time.
      Whoever beats Baltimore will have to stop Lamar, because no-one is going to win a shoot-out against their D.

  19. GoHawks5151

    MacDonald really leaving an impression. They been hot all day on Defense. Wonder if JS would have interest in OC Alex Van Pelt who just got let go in Cleveland? Sounds like he took the fall as the circle the wagons around Watson (Yuck)

  20. Mr drucker in hooterville

    Should this Houston performance give Slowik any demerits like the DAL game did vs GB?

    • Rob Staton


      Baltimore is a buzzsaw, at home, with a loaded and established roster

      Houston are an overachieving upstart team on the road

      If people expected anything other than that, you weren’t being realistic. In the video in this article, I mentioned how predictable this would be

      • Parallax

        I was surprised it was so close at halftime. Baltimore seemed tight in the first half. There’s no question in my mind they’re the best team in the NFL currently but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if someone knocks them off. There are so many variables in a football game. So hard to make solid predictions.

    • BrandoK

      For me there are still alot to like about Slowik his upside of a coach is way higher than Dan Quinn. The Ravens 9/10 times were gonna win the game they were one of two best team in the NFL. Dallas were the favorite to win and got outclassed before halftime while Houston was right there with the best team at halftime the best team won tho.

      Slowik is still my 2nd choice after Johnson for HC whatever the result.

      • JP

        They weren’t really there. They had like 3 points of offense the entire game.

    • Sneekes

      It’s clearly more negative than positive, but in my view it’s not nearly as damning for Slowik as it was for Quinn: Slowik suffered on the road against the best D in the game, while managing an offence that is pretty much in its first year. Quinn’s D has been several years in the making and was pulled apart at home by an offence that has impressed of late, but is far from being considered the leagues best.

      • Sneekes

        Too slow 🙂

      • Rob Staton

        As mentioned in the other article’s comments section:

        Home team, dome, heavy favourite, expected to win, established team — Dallas gets blown out

        Road team, difficult conditions, big underdog, expected to lose, rookie QB, upstart overachieving roster — Houston gets blown out

  21. Sled Dog

    Which QB’s would likely be still available at 16?

    • Rob Staton


      • Sled Dog

        I take that emoji as a call to move up…

        • Palatypus

          I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say that J.J. Mcarthy and Michael Pratt will be available at 16, but we may get lucky and have Drake Maye fall to us. /sarcasm.

          Or maybe Penix.

      • Sled Dog

        How about another question: Nix or Rattler?

        • Rob Staton


          • Jabroni-DC

            Slowik & Rattler would get my excitement level trending up.

            Along with cutting our All Pro paid safeties.

        • Palatypus

          Sled Dog, here is the link to Rob’s horizontal board.

          Or you can scroll up to the banner and click on “Horizontal Board.”

          • Rob Staton

            And an update is coming next week

            • Palatypus

              Are we getting an interview with Jim Nagy? Or do I have to stalk him?

              • Rob Staton

                Working on it

                • Mr drucker in hooterville

                  I’d be curious about Nagy’s impression of Jordan Hicks, S WSU. THX

                  • Palatypus

                    Jaden Hicks

          • Sled Dog

            That’s a great tool! Seems like after the Championship Game, it’s due for a refresh. Look forward to seeing any updates.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Rattler there? Take him. Combine will stir things up.

      • Rob Staton

        Everyone knows I am desperate for the Seahawks to make an investment at QB

        I’m telling you though — there’s a very strong case to be made, in this class, to focus on other positions

      • Palatypus

        According to his Twitter page, he is working with Elev8 Quarterback Academy in Phoenix. I thought it might be here because of the palm trees.

  22. Palatypus

    In other news…

    Looks like Derrick Brooks has the Senior Bowl NFL flag event here in Pensacola scheduled for Monday the 29th. So, I should be able to identify the athletes training with EXOS at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze. They always perform very well at the combine and usually the Senior Bowl.


  23. Charlie TheUnicorn2187

    My read on the Texans is that they are the 2012 Seahawks. A couple of pieces away from making a serious push for the Superbowl. I really liked seeing some bold draft moves rewarded with playoff success. Their QB is advancing more quickly than anticipated.

    The current 2023 Seahawks remind me more of the 2011 version, requiring a young “cheap” QB and one or two more years of building to get back to Superbowl contention. NFCW might be back to being one of the toughest divisions in the NFL in 2024 and 2025. 49ers, Rams and even the Cardinals are either good or on the rise.

  24. Saucetrich

    Blog favorite Bo Melton making plays! You love to see it. Wish it was in a Hawks jersey but it’s against the Niners so it’s close enough for me.

  25. KnoxHawk

    Bo Melton, our Bo! lol

    I don’t like rooting for the packers but this scenario is one of the few exceptions.

  26. Bryan

    I think Geno has a lot of good but is always limited from ever being great or elite. He does not handle pressure that well and his OL was a mess this year. I’m shocked any measures thought the pass protection was bit dramatically worse this year. In my mind the OL troubles were the major factor in the offense struggling this year.

    If the Seahawks can’t come up with a great plan for QB this year I think Geno is completely serviceable and is basically Jared Goff. Both can be very effective if protected and given good weapons and scheme. They both have enough arm strength and accuracy to put up great numbers but are definitely not top tier. They also can look miserable at times.

  27. Vanhawksfan

    How good is the Green Bay 0’line? Sodamn impressive!!!

    • Troy

      Just how impressive is Green Bay in general? They dismantle Dallas on the road and now are looking damn impressive against the Niners. Love is clearly better than Purdy.

  28. Big Mike

    I’m starting to wonder quite a bit about Brock Purdy

    • Hawkster

      A few games in a row, not oozing special

    • Rob Staton

      Sadly I’m not sure it’ll matter when they’ve got:

      Kittle + McCaffrey + Green Bay’s defense

      • Hawkster

        Ive been wondering where Aijuk is then bam a clutch shoestring grab.
        A lot of skill on thr 49ers, but the OL has been struggling

  29. Palatypus

    Green Bay’s offense was so bad at tackling on that interception that I thought it was our defense.

  30. KnoxHawk

    If Green Bay makes that pick and turns it into points they are either up 10 or 14. The niners convert on a turn over and are now in position to tie the game with a decent drive. Every play counts!

    • Rob Staton


      Packers have been the better team and should have a decent lead but they’ve missed too many opportunities

      • Big Mike

        Agree with both of you

  31. Rob Staton

    Wow, Parker Brailsford went to Alabama

    • Robbie

      I hate every thing about that!!!!!

      • Big Mike

        I pretty much hate everything about college football now Robbie

    • Palatypus

      Yeah, well, he can actually snap a football.

  32. KnoxHawk

    49ers are 0 and 30 when trailing 5 plus points at the beginning of the 4th quarter under Kyle Shanahan

    That’s wild, what’s up with that. No clutch gene in Kyle’s teams?

  33. Palatypus

    Remember when Dikembe Mutombo was holding that basketball on the floor of the Key Arena after defeating the Sonics in the playoffs back in 1994?


    • Palatypus

      Brock Purdy is going to get fired like Michael Cage.

      …And none of you will get that joke.

      • Vanhawksfan

        But what a rebounder!!!!

        • Palatypus

          We have a winner!

        • Picklematrix

          And an all time Jheri curl

    • Picklematrix

      Why you gotta bring up one of my worst childhood memories? 😂

      • Palatypus

        I was wishing it on the 49ers. But they are not the wine-drinking, cheese-eating Sonoma Valley surrender monkeys I thought they were.

        Denny Green, “They are who we thought they were!”

        Sadly, they were not.

  34. Nathan W.

    OT: wtf was that Love?

  35. Whit21

    Wow.. in the rain, rolling right, and across his body jordan love really thought he was gonna get a deep shot over the defense..

    Ball came out as a wobbler wounded duck..

    Sucks to watch them win..

    • Palatypus

      A wobbler wounded duck or a gobbler Christmas turkey?

    • Sled Dog

      As soon as it left his hand I thought, that ball’s gonna be up for grabs! After the Hawks, my son is a Packers fan. What a blow!

      • KitsapHawk

        I call it a “wounded Dak”

  36. Mr drucker in hooterville


  37. Brodie

    Cheers Curtis! Very well thought out and written. Really great breakdown of the pros and cons with his 2023 season and options for what lies ahead.

    Rob’s piece’s are top notch and your additions keep the bar high.

    Appreciate both of you guys very much.

    • Palatypus


    • cha

      Thanks Brodie

      And thanks to Rob for once again sharing his platform.

  38. Dubb

    Thanks, Curtis. This was greatly appreciated. If Gino is cut in order to save $13M, how much would we have to spend to get another bridge QB ? If it’s $10M , then there’s not much savings. This is such a tough call for JS. Who is even available? Lock? Flacco? Wentz? Yikes!!!!

    • cha

      It is a tough spot to be in. But there are draft and free agent options that can provide numbers similar to Geno’s 2023 for far, far less money on the cap.

      I would be shocked if the Seahawks played 2024 on Geno’s full cap hit. Renegotiating him down seems the most prudent but could both parties agree on something is tough to project.

      Failing that, restructuring a bunch of money to 2025 and keeping him on a much smaller number in 2024 while giving the drafted QB a year to learn would be aggressive but a safe play.

  39. Peter

    Bummed to see after the slowik, macdonald game…errrh…Texans, Ravens a few talking heads fire up their internet connections to say Slowik out.

    I get it’s a reactionary world and the defense sucks. Bad news though…so does the offense ranking #17 in points scored.

    I know people feel certain way about getting an ‘awesome,’ defense. And that will fix everything. It’s like people don’t know that very late in the season our pricey place kicker accounted for almost 50% of the total offense. And when I say very late I’m talking around week 12 before the offense as a whole had more points than myers alone.

    I’d love a great defense. Truly. But I’ll take a great anything and we are a lot closer to a great offense than the other side of the ball.

  40. Seattle Person

    I’m oddly very comfortable with where the head coaching process is heading. The Falcons and Chargers seem destined to land Belichick and Harbaugh respectively.

    Even if the Commanders hire Ben Johnson — I believe the Hawks are easily the best vacancy left if all is heading towards its current direction no?

    The Hawks can choose from the lot of Slowik, McDonald, F. Smith. Even Mike Vrabel (who doesn’t have very much buzz). I think I can imagine a world where the hot shot coordinators return to their respective teams once the Seahawks hire their next head coach.

  41. Jo

    Peter, I’m not totally knowledgeable like a lot of you guys on this blog but I’m convinced Baltimore is your Superbowl winner by miles and can’t blame Slovik for a poor result against a heavy favorite. Houston had no business even being in the playoffs yet. The fact that they were shows just how important an elite quarterback is. JS needs to stop the bullshit and go get his quarterback the HC will come we have a great organization here despite the fact Pete was actively trying to fuck the organization over while knowing he was on the way out for the last 2-3 years.

    It’s ok if we are 5-12 for a couple years because it’s the easiest way to clean house and get elite lines quickly and cheap if you get the correct quarterback. See Shanahan.

  42. Jo

    I’m not thinking Jody or the fanbase is ready to try the Rams building method the entire PNW is too soft for that and totally fine with a culture that Pete built. 8-9/9-8 compete forever well I live in KCMO and see daily what an excellent coach and quarterback gives an organization and culture is never mentioned it’s just expected.

    • Palatypus

      You live in a radio station?

  43. Ksal

    Thanks for the great article Curtis. Super insightful. I was wondering if we could also consider doing a post June 1 cut for Geno and whether that helps us, or if carrying the cost burden all the way until June 1 makes that untenable. And do you think Jamal is a post June 1 designation or not?

    • cha

      Thanks ksal

      No the post june 1 cut for Geno would be a disastrous choice.

      Geno being on the roster until June 1 locks his salary and that big roster bonus in. So there would be no cap benefit and there’s still an $8.7m chunk on the cap in 2025.

      Meaning, they’d have about $40m in dead cap they’re eating.

      Adams will likely be cut either way, it’s just a matter of when do the Seahawks want the money.

      The pre june gives them $6m and they can use it immediately AND gets the bonus proration off the books and clean for 2025.

      A post June 1 splits the bonus pro between 24 and 25, but you can’t use the cap room gained until june2.

      • Ksal

        Thanks for the clear explanation. Post June 1, really doesn’t work with big roster bonuses coming due.

  44. Henry Taylor

    I think this team could be a contender, at least in the short term, with Geno Smith and an elite offensive coach.

  45. Ian

    “No way Tennessee is a more attractive job for Slowik…”, though there is a Ran Carthon connection.

  46. Henry Taylor

    If the Seahawks hire Johnson or Slowik or some other young offensive coach, and Vrabel doesn’t get an alternative HC gig, is it possible he would come here as DC?

    If he’s without options and he and John are actually close, would it not be an ideal scenario for him to come here as a veteran presence to support a first time HC?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s doubtful. Perhaps more likely to take a year out

    • BK26

      I don’t think he’s going to settl me for a lesser position. He’ll still be a head coach sooner or later.

    • cha

      He probably will want to make sure he has a good solid GM and ownership group to work with. If it doesn’t happen this year, a year away wouldn’t hurt. McCarthy did it and got the cowboy job.

  47. samprassultanofswat

    Rob: First let me say that John Schneider should hire you as a special assistant. I am just amazed at where you get all this information. This information is invaluable. Your insight to the situation is amazing.

    You nailed the Ravens blowout of Houston. I thought because of Slowik/C.J. Stroud Houston had a legitimate chance. The Ravens defense took Houston’s offense and just plan shut them down. That Raven defense looks great. After what Mike MacDonald and what the Ravens defense did to strangle the Texans offense. Would you consider MacDonald?

    • Mr drucker in Hooterville

      I’ve been saying this. Of course the blog may have to be put on hold.

  48. PJ in Seattle

    Excellent article, Cha. They are always required reading, IMO.

    Rob, your arguments in the vid for Johnson and Slowik make a ton of sense. And then your shift in tone of voice and body language when discussing Vrabel as option three… let’s just say it’s very clear you’d have a hard time being fired up about it. I understand why.

    I’ll get on the Vrabel train, happily. While I would like a young, offensive mind at the top of the coaching org chart, I have to believe that Vrabel and Schneider would work hard to assemble the right minds as coordinators to fill that gap.

    Pete has a practically non-existent coaching tree and we know that he had 100% autonomy in assembling his coaching staff during his time with the Seahawks. I believe John Schneider has had quite enough of that and, now that he holds the reigns, he is going to be deeply invested in working closely with whomever he hires as HC to bring in next-gen talent to that aspect of the franchise.

    • Peter

      Agree with your perspective via Vrabel, Rob, and probably a bunch of us. He’s around #3, #4 for a bunch of folks but there’s the two pronged factor that he gets his teams up and he has connections he’s made along the way.

      Quinn has had loaded rosters or amazing players and let down games. Notably the superbowl…..cliff Avril gets injured with 15 minutes of game time and a lead and * poof* game comes down to a weird call to the wrong player and “we” have spent a decade discussing it like the zapruder film about what happened.

  49. Peter

    Rob just watched your video about the ravens, et al.

    I for one am super grateful that reading, listening comprehension is so bad. Feels like you’ve covered the Harbaugh boys in regards to building a staff and Mike’s relative lack of connections about a half dozen times…..

    But….if it keeps you making content it works for me.

    Sidebar: HIRE A COACH!!!! I want to get to talking about the draft by the time the senior bowl comes around.

    Side-sidebar: I know he’s ultra busy right now but any word on if you and your future boss Jim Nagy are going to get a chance to talk this year? Always one of my favorite interviews you get to do.

    • Rob Staton

      Sadly it won’t be possible before the event this year, it’s a special year with the 75th anniversary and there’s a lot going on.

      Afterwards is a distinct possibility

      • Palatypus

        Yes, a lot is going on here locally.

  50. Peter

    Almost two weeks out of the big move one thing I’m grateful for is the hopeful end of our team being consistently couched in what if’s and excuses.

    Green bay I believe is the actual youngest team in the league with youth at key positions. Watching them get within 3 pts of the niners in Santa Clara they have to be crushed today but stoked for the future.

    All year I’ve heard about two things that never made sense:

    1. Seattle is the fifth youngest roster. So what? When we held the Lombardi, the LOB was young, the qb was young, okung, the wr’s, all young. It’s been such a cheesy excuse.

    2. It’s year whatever of a rebuild….really? I mean Pete never said it’s a three year rebuild. But like a mandala effect fans started saying it so much they believed it to be true. Correct me if I’m wrong or missed it but I don’t recall Pete or John standing at the podium saying ” we traded our franchise qb, so it’s going to be three years before we are competing again. Let’s all hang in there together until 2025/26.”

    Just last week John was talking up the roster. I don’t recall him saying we are in a rebuild in a post legendary coach world.

    • Big Mike

      Watching them get within 3 pts of the niners in Santa Clara they have to be crushed today but stoked for the future.

      If they catch those 2 gift interceptions, especially the one that would’ve been a pick 6, pretty likely it’s a different outcome. 9ers caught their interception chances, Pack didn’t. That was the game to me.

      • Peter

        Pretty much.

        As Adam Nathan says often about our team: green shoots. Green bay has that looking ahead.

        In the last five tries against the Niners the closest we’ve been is an 8 pt loss at our house.

        • AlaskaHawk

          All Green Bay had to do was kick the early field goal instead of going for it on 4th down at the 5. Then make their other longer field goal.

          Either field goal would tie the game, the second would have won it. I’ll put that on coaching and the Green Bay field goal kicker (who is replaceable). Seems like he coaches figured it would be a high scoring game instead of a dog fight.

  51. LouCityHawk

    Don’t know if this was shared yet, Nagy on the lack of depth in Rounds 5-7, which was already notable on Rob’s horizontal board, and really stands out if you try to be honest on the PFN mock draft.

    • Peter

      Any mock I do it’s like “sure, why not….,” when I get beyond the 4th round.

      Mostly I just use it as a tool to find names I don’t know and then read up on them, watch a little video or two.

      • Palatypus

        It also means you can tear up that trade value chart you’ve been using.

        • Peter


          I just use the trade value chart as a blunt tool when people think bingo bango here comes the easy peesy future first rounder.

    • Denver Hawker

      I was surprised how many 5th and 6th year players were in the CFP. Covid year played a role but that should wash out this year.

      Seniors that would typically get drafted in round 5-7 are perhaps more likely to be more valuable to their college team resulting in more NIL than year 1 NFL salary. I’d be surprised if there isn’t an NIL cap at some point.

  52. Jabroni-DC

    Texans OC Bobby Slowik plans to interview for the Falcons, Commanders and Seahawks jobs tomorrow, per source, with Houston set to play in Baltimore this afternoon.

    Slowik has already met with the Titans and Panthers.

    Tomorrow = today. I imagine it’s a ‘Zoom’ interview but it’ll graduate to in-person if all goes well.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Yesterday (?) I saw some tweets that said Belichick to Atlanta was a done deal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  53. Jabroni-DC

    Roughly a month ago I posed the question ‘which non-qb would you be excited about for the Seahawks in round 1?’ Not because we don’t need a qb but because it’s a fair possibility that that’s what happens.

    There’s such a good & deep group of offensive linemen & with the 16th pick Seattle will be in position to select one of the top RTs (Lucas inj?), perhaps the top OG or the best C. If the QB isn’t there it’d make a lot of sense to continue building that foundation up front.

    • Palatypus

      There is going to be a lot of movement on draft boards after the Senior Bowl. A big key will be how the DTs look in 1v1 versus the centers and guards.

    • Seattle Person

      I don’t know about anyone but Cooper DeJean has my interest. I’m convinced he is a full time CB but he’s exactly the chess piece you need on defense in today’s NFL. The dude is a DB but looks like CMC with the football in his hands…

      • BK26

        Can also play safety. Best returner in college football. Won games for Iowa himself. There was talk of him getting snaps on offense last year too.

        • Seattle Person

          He’ll be a luxury piece but if I’m interested in unique pieces on defense. Witherspoon was one. The Hawks need more impact talent.

          DeJean has a wow factor for sure. I would draft him for either nickel CB or safety. I don’t think I’ll use him outside as much as they did. A player like DeJean needs to play closer to the LOS.

  54. Blitzy the Clown

    Fantastic article and video! Kudos to Curtis and Rob

    Any chance Schneider would make a move with Slowik before the Lions end their season? I’m wondering if other teams might push him to make a preemptive decision, especially if Johnson to the Commanders looks increasingly likely.

  55. Palatypus

    I found an Instagram video of the Senior Bowl players training at EXOS from yesterday.

    Recognize any of these guys?

  56. PJ in Seattle

    Looks like nearly everyone from round one is moving on to a second interview.

    Notably missing: Frank Smith.

  57. Stuart

    Hi Rob,

    Forgive me if that has already been said.

    This may not be popular with the SDB committee but i would restructure Geno to a team friendly 3 year deal and then I would trade him.

    Next I would sign Drew Lock to a 3 year deal with reachable incentive’s in year’s 2 and 3. He could develop into a poor mans Bret Favre.

    Then in the first round I would draft QB Rattler Spencer and in the 5th round I would draft another QB that has massive upside potential. The reason a QB like for the slid could have been an injury, poor coaching, horrible line etc.

    I am a fan of Geno, but I am a bigger fan of the Seahawks, this saves us big money, we get some type of a chip back for Geno, we now have a youngish gunslinger QB with lots of upside and if our younger QB’s develop enough to become the starter, after next season we could then trade Drew Lock.

    What do you think?

    • Rob Staton

      This may not be popular with the SDB committee but i would restructure Geno to a team friendly 3 year deal and then I would trade him.

      This isn’t possible Stuart. When’s the last time a player signed a three-year deal in the NFL and was then dealt immediately after? Why would Smith and his agent sign a contract extension without any protection to be moved anywhere?

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