Is Geno Smith Worth $33+ Million On The Open Market?

At some point, I talked about how I’d gladly re-sign Geno Smith for $20-$25 million. That’s assuming, of course, that Shane Waldron is still here – and isn’t hired as a head coach somewhere after this fantastic performance – but it goes completely out the window if he’s gone. I base that on Geno Smith being a pretty great fit for this very specific scheme.

I also think there’s a lot of risk that comes with giving Geno a big-money extension after one great season. At this point, it’s not even one great season, with six games left to play. But, it’s hard for me to reconcile what we’ve seen from him in his career to date.

I understand where this $33ish million figure comes from. That’s right around what he would cost on a franchise tag. At this point, I think Geno would readily accept a franchise tag at that cost; I don’t think the Seahawks want any part of that, since the entire tag becomes fully guaranteed, and cripples your salary cap accordingly. If you’re the Seahawks, you want a 2+ year deal, to spread out the signing bonus, and limit the number of guaranteed money over the long haul.

What I don’t understand is why the franchise tag is automatically the floor. Is Geno Smith going to command $30+ million on the open market? Is he nearly as valuable in any other system? With a lesser offensive line protecting him? With lesser targets to throw to?

The last thing I want to do is get into a bidding war for Geno Smith, who has a definite shelf life. Even if we assume this is the new normal for Geno, I give it two years before we start seeing a decline. The Seahawks need to address the quarterback position not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. I have no problem handing him the team in 2023. But, in 2024 and beyond, I’d like to be looking towards a younger franchise quarterback to take over. It’s why you build through the draft, so you can use your cap dollars in other ways, with the quarterback position not taking such a significant portion of the pie.

The lone upside – as I see it – to extending Geno is the fact that we can use all of our draft capital on other areas of need. It sure would be nice to have both first round picks available to bolster our weak defensive line. Maybe grab a high-level linebacker early in the second round, and then either grab a guard/center with the other, or just take the best player available, regardless of position. But, my concern with that is similar to my concern about drafting a quarterback: what if they’re not good right away, or ever? Sure, we’d have Geno Smith, but if we’re still having the same problems stopping the run and rushing the passer, then we’re no better than we are now, with the limited shelf life of a competent Geno Smith.

I guess my whole thing is: I’m never going to be happy if we don’t select a quarterback in one of the first two rounds next year. But, regardless, if some other team is willing to throw gobs of money at Geno, godspeed. Let them have him. What I think this year has shown me more than anything else is that you can plug & play pretty much anyone in the Shane Waldron (née Sean McVay) system and get serviceable results. Just like Jared Goff a few years ago taking the Rams to the Super Bowl; we don’t need to break the bank on Geno Smith or anyone for that matter. Let the rest of the NFL ravage that carcass. The Seahawks can carve out their own path.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *