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Will Geno Smith be back with the Seahawks in 2023? QB wants to ‘finish my career in Seattle’

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There might not be a better NFL comeback story in the 2022 season than Geno Smith. 

He entered the season as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback following the departure of Russell Wilson, after spending the previous two years as Wilson’s backup. Before that were stints with the Chargers and Giants as a backup following his failed Jets tenure.

Smith was sensational. He set franchise records with a 69.8 completion percentage (best in the NFL in ’22), 4,282 passing yards and 399 completions. He threw a career-best 30 touchdowns and his lowest numbers of interceptions (11) in a full season as a starter.

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While Smith’s miraculous season came to a sobering end in his first playoff start, with the 49ers running away in the second half and winning 41-23, Smith made a strong case to be one of the top quarterbacks on the free-agent market in the offseason. 

Will he return to Seattle, or will he take his talents elsewhere? Here’s what you need to know.

Will Geno Smith be the Seahawks’ QB1 again in 2023?

Before Saturday’s game, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Seahawks want to keep Smith and would even use the franchise tag to do so.

And if comments after the game by Smith and coach Pete Carroll are any indication, there is mutual interest in him sticking around. Smith said he has a lot of loyalty and wants to stick with the Seahawks after they “embraced” him in 2022 when “not many people were.”

When asked if he expects to be back with the team, Smith simply responded, “I do.”

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“I want to finish my career in Seattle. I want to be here. The town, the city, the team, coach Carroll, the organization, they all embraced me. I was a guy who probably could have been out of the league. And they embraced me and I want to repay them for that.”

Carroll had nothing but praise for Smith after the game, saying that the 2022 season showed he is the real deal. He praised Smith’s movement and his poise as hype started to build around him and the team.

“He could have gone south five different times and he didn’t. He never wavered. His leadership really stood out. His voice in the locker room, his voice with our players. He said the right stuff all year,” Carroll said.

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“It’s a great story,” Carroll added. “And it’s a great story for a lot of players and other sports, wherever you want to go. If you keep hanging in there and you believe in yourself and you don’t let the messaging outside of you affect who you are, what you are, you’ll find your best, and I think Geno’s found his best and he’s ready to come back and go again. I thought he had an unbelievably great season for us.”

Geno Smith contract

Smith was signed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract for the 2022 season, according to Spotrac. In his career, he has made just over $17.4 million.

If the Seahawks fail to come to an agreement on a new deal with him, they could offer him the franchise tag — as Rapoport suggested — which would be a major pay raise for the veteran. According to Over the Cap, the 2023 non-exclusive franchise tag for a quarterback is expected to be $32.4 million, which is nearly double what Smith has made during his career. The exclusive franchise tag is projected to be $45 million.

The non-exclusive tag would allow Smith to negotiate with other NFL teams, and Seattle would be able to match any contract offer. Under the exclusive tag, Smith could only sign with the Seahawks.

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