Geno Smith authored one of the best feel-good stories of 2022 by leading Seattle to a wild-card berth in his first season as the starting quarterback.
It appears the Seahawks want that story to continue into next season.
Smith, who is set to become a free agent this offseason, is expected to return as the Seahawks starting QB in 2023, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday on NFL GameDay Morning.
Rapoport adds that the Seahawks are trying to work on a new deal for Smith’s return, but if necessary the team also has the option of placing the franchise tag on the veteran.
Smith would earn $30 million-plus if given the franchise tag in 2023, which would double what he’s made over the course of his nine-year NFL career, according to Rapoport.
More than seven years removed from his last season opener as a starting QB, Smith earned the job in Seattle ahead of the 2022 season and supplanted the franchise’s leader in just about every passing category imaginable, including wins.
Prompting the Seahawks’ hot start in 2022, Smith emerged as one of the league’s most efficient passers this season and stabilized an offense that had lost its identity during the final year of Russell Wilson’s decade-long run in Seattle. The 32-year-old Smith had 4,282 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while leading the league in completion percentage (69.8%).
Smith’s remarkable comeback season was punctuated with his first Pro Bowl honor after nine years in the NFL.
Of course, the story of Smith’s first season as the Seahawks starting QB has yet to conclude. Seattle heads to San Francisco to face the No. 2-seeded 49ers to kick off Super Wild Card Weekend, and Smith has an opportunity to not only continue the fairy tale into the Divisional Round, but perhaps improve his compensation with Seattle for 2023 and beyond.
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