I Don’t See The Downside To Letting Geno Smith Hit Free Agency

Of course I don’t, because I don’t really want to see the Seahawks re-signing him. But, I’m resigned to the fact that he will be back, because that’s just how it works. NFL teams can’t help themselves. It’s a zero-risk league; you find what works and you beat it into the fucking ground.

For the purposes of this exercise, though, let’s pretend that I do want Geno Smith back. That I’m more than happy with a 9-8 team that barely squeaks into the playoffs. That mediocrity is my be-all, end-all in life. I was listening to Brock & Salk the other day, and I think they were torn on the matter. Someone said something about how he expects Geno to hit free agency, and Salk said if that happens, he’s as good as gone, because some team will blow the Seahawks away with an over-the-top offer.

I don’t agree with that. I mean, sure, there might be some other team willing to pay $32+ million per year to nab Geno. But, you’re making a big assumption when you opine that the Seahawks might get some sort of discount if we act fast and lock him up before free agency starts.

Frankly, I don’t see any reason why Geno Smith would want to avoid the open market. This is his first – and maybe ONLY – chance to make some real money in this league. His value has never been higher, and it will probably never BE higher than it is right this moment. He has every right to hold out for the absolute highest offer, whatever that may be. Unless …

Conversely, yeah, if you’re the Seahawks – and you want Geno to return – you have to be nervous about a bidding war starting up among the quarterback-needy teams in the league. There are PLENTY of organizations out there who would love to have his services. Geno would be a vast improvement for so many teams! And, as they always say, it only takes one to become enamored with him. Unless …

What if there isn’t the market everyone expects for Geno? Well then, it would be in Geno’s best interests to sign now and avoid the catastrophe that is the league lowballing him all offseason. Conversely, maybe the Seahawks would be wise to wait and see. Maybe instead of approaching that Franchise Tag figure, we’re free to sign him for considerably less.

Why don’t we take this opportunity to look around the league: who are the teams that need a quarterback, and who are the veteran quarterbacks available?

New York Jets – That’s a good team built to win right now, only missing a quarterback. I think they very much present a potential landing spot for a veteran. Would they want to bring Geno back after he failed so miserably with them the first time? I’m dubious.

Baltimore Ravens – It looks like they might move on from Lamar Jackson. But, they have 2022 Pro Bowler Tyler Huntley they could always turn to.

Houston Texans – They have the second overall pick and almost certainly will draft someone.

Indianapolis Colts – They have the fourth overall pick and almost certainly will draft someone.

Las Vegas Raiders – They’ve abandoned Derek Carr and could cut him with relatively little in the way of dead money; they could also try to trade him, though I don’t know what that market looks like. They have the seventh overall pick, but I could see them going either way (veteran vs. rookie).

Washington Commanders – They don’t strike me as a team that can be happy with the guys they’ve got. Like the Jets, they seem close to contention right now, just needing to shore up the quarterback spot. I’d bank on a veteran going their way.

New York Giants – They only need someone if they opt to let Danny Dimes walk. If that’s the case, I’d say they go with a veteran.

The Entire NFC South – The Falcons have the eighth overall pick and a third round quarterback from a year ago. I could see them going either way, but if I were them, I’d just draft another guy and have the two young guns duke it out. The Bucs are losing Tom Brady and don’t appear to have anyone in reserve; they seem to be a likely landing spot for a vet. The Saints would be idiotic to run it back with Andy Dalton, and Jameis Winston apparently isn’t any better otherwise he would’ve been in there when their season was at stake. I could also see them going for a vet. As for the Panthers, I think it’s full rebuild time; they have the ninth pick this year, go get a rookie.

Seattle Seahawks – duh.

Besides the Seahawks, there’s eleven teams. Two, for sure, will go with rookies. Maybe up to four. On the market, we figure to have the aforementioned Geno Smith, Derek Carr, Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, Jimmy Garoppolo, maybe Aaron Rodgers (if the Packers opt to trade him and go with Jordan Love), Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Cooper Rush, Gardner Minshew, and Matt Ryan. If I’m the Seahawks, I don’t know if I’m enamored with any of those guys. If I’m the rest of the league, though, maybe Geno Smith isn’t looking too bad?

I guess we’ll see. As someone who is against paying $32+ million for Geno Smith, I’m in favor of letting him test the waters. Let him get that somewhere else. Because there’s always the chance that the rest of the NFL sees his 2022 season as something of a fluke. Or, at the very least, a product of a very specific environment, that isn’t likely to be replicated just anywhere.

Ultimately, the question I have for myself is: is there a number I would like to have Geno come back to the Seahawks at? Maybe $20-$25 million. That doesn’t seem super realistic, but I could see myself being comfortable with that sort of deal, over two or three years.

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