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The Seattle Seahawks are hopeful they can re-sign Geno Smith after his stellar 2022 season, but they’re not ruling out taking a quarterback in the NFL draft’s first round.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider said there have been “positive” talks with Smith but would not describe the two sides as close to reaching a new deal.
“I would say it’s always a process,” Schneider told reporters Tuesday. “Close? I would say ‘positive.’ All these negotiations, some go a little bit faster than others. Usually when you’re talking about larger numbers, they take a little bit more time. Obviously much more complex than [in] different sports with guaranteed contracts. There’s a lot more that goes into these contracts.”
Smith made his first Pro Bowl and won NFL Comeback Player of the Year after throwing for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during the regular season. Expected to serve merely as a stopgap in a down rebuilding year after the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson, Smith instead rejuvenated his career after spending nearly a decade as a backup.
The 2013 second-round pick was the New York Jets’ primary starter for his first two NFL seasons but struggled mightily. He then spent time as a backup with the Jets, Giants and Chargers before landing in Seattle, playing behind Wilson for three seasons before taking over in 2022.
The Seahawks earned a wild-card spot with Smith at the helm but still have the No. 5 overall pick from the Denver Broncos thanks to the Wilson trade. It’s unlikely they will be in a position to select Alabama’s Bryce Young without trading up to the No. 1 spot, but Kentucky’s Will Levis, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud all could be on the board at No. 5.
Schneider said they have been monitoring the quarterback class “a lot” heading into the combine.
“Every year, honestly, we really look at it a lot. Like I said earlier, we haven’t picked fifth overall since we’ve been here,” Schneider said. “So yeah, I got out to see a lot of quarterbacks this year. It was pretty fun. But honestly, every year we’ve tried to do that, and we’ve tried to add quarterbacks.”
It’s unclear whether the Seahawks are willing to use their franchise tag on Smith, who would be guaranteed $32.4 million for the 2023 season. The Seahawks have used the tag only twice since Schneider took over as general manager in 2010.