Seattle overachieved in 2022, at least based on expectations, starting with quarterback.
Geno Smith played better than anyone could have expected, posting a career year with a 69.8 completion percentage, 4,282 yards, and a 30-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio. As Smith rose from veteran backup to legitimate starter on a surprise playoff team, so changed Seattle's plans.
Instead of implementing Smith as merely a bridge quarterback to an uncertain future, the Seahawks are now interested in running it back with Smith.
"We had a great talk. He knows what the process is gonna be," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said during a Wednesday appearance on 950 KJR. "We'd love to have him back, he knows that. He'd love to be back here as well. He knows it's about the entire team and putting this whole thing together, and it's going to be a process."
Smith's 2022 season was worthy of serious consideration for NFL Comeback Player of the Year, not necessarily because he'd ever reached such a level of performance in the past, but because he'd done so in his age-32 season. After the Jets cast him aside at the end of the 2016 season, Smith meandered through the NFL as a backup until 2022. It seems all the veteran needed was the belief of his coach and his own agency to get the job done.
"Super proud of the way he competed and everything he did, especially once he was named the starter," Schneider continued. "Coach Carroll, probably one of the biggest strengths he has is instilling confidence in people, and I thought it was just amazing the way he worked with Geno and the way Geno took his confidence and leadership skills to another level. And then, the performance on the field speaks for itself."
Smith got off to a torrid start to the 2022 season, posting passer ratings of 99 or better in all but two of his first 12 starts and helping the Seahawks to a 7-5 record in a year in which they were expected to struggle. It helped to have D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett available, and the emergence of rookie running back Kenneth Walker didn't hurt, either.
With much of their core intact, it would seem like a simple decision to bring Smith back for 2023. Schneider knows it's never that easy, though, especially with the usual turnover of every offseason considered.
With both sides in agreement on their desire to stick together, perhaps it will simply be a matter of numbers.
"We'll get to it as soon as we can and try to do what's best for Geno and try to do what's best for the organization," Schneider said.