“It Took A Lot Of Heart. I’m Thankful, Man” | Geno Smith Shocks The NFL World, Leads Seahawks To Playoffs

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Rams in overtime at Lumen Field on January 08, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

When the Seattle Seahawks traded franchise stalwart Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in March the belief was a rebuild in the Pacific Northwest was inevitable. Wilson had led the franchise to such great heights for a decade.

Geno Smith Went From Bust To Pro Bowl

That was until veteran journeyman quarterback Geno Smith stepped in and helped lead the Seahawks to an improbable playoff run. By virtue of Sunday’s 19-16 overtime win over the hapless Los Angeles Rams and a Lions win over the Green Bay Packers, Seattle clinched the final playoff berth in the NFC.

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In what was supposed to be a season of rebuilding for draft picks, head coach Pete Carroll executed arguably the best coaching job of his career, and his ace move was making Smith his starter after a QB battle with Drew Lock during the offseason. Smith hasn’t disappointed and following Sunday’s win, the former West Virginia Mountaineers star exuded the raw emotion of his journey.

“It took a lot of heart,” Smith said. “I’m thankful, man. Just thankful for God. I feel like I’m about to break down. It’s just team ball, hard-fought, crowd was rocking. The Rams played their asses off. We had to pull it out — it was ugly, we found a way!”

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How Many Of Russell Wilson’s Records Did Geno Smith Break?

Smith broke many of Wilson’s single-season franchise passing records, including the single season record for passing yards with 4,292. Granted, he did it in a 17-game season, but it’s still quite an accomplishment. 

His 399 completions, 572 attempts and 73 percent completion percentage are all Seahawks franchise records. That completion percentage was tops in the entire NFL and earned him his first Pro Bowl nod. 

His 30 touchdown passes, and 11 interceptions are also a personal best for Smith, who’s now been a starter three seasons in his career.

Smith Is A Free Agent: Will Seahawks Pay Him?

Is this the Smith you’ll get going forward or is it a flash in the pan?

That’s what Seahawks brass must decipher, as Smith will be a highly-valued unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Even if a long-term deal can’t be reached, the Seahawks can still keep their newfound signal-caller out by Mount Rainier. They have the ability to franchise tag or transition tag him, each would cost the team about $30M-$32M in pay for one year.

Geno already cashed in on a $1M bonus for the playoff berth and playing 80 percent of the snaps.

Carroll seems to like his current QB situation, but he also knows that yesterday’s price is not today’s price for Smith. 

“Well, we have work to do, but our system is really good. The system is really good,” Carroll told reporters. “What we’re asking these guys to do, for him to come in as a first-year starter after five years or whatever it is to execute like he has done all year long. I think 69.8 completion percentage for the season and all the touchdowns and all the plays he has made and — I think our quarterback position is great.

“But he is going to be a free agent, so we have work to do. We never got a chance to see Drew, but I’ve seen a lot of him, and I like what he does, too. I think our quarterback situation, if we can get him signed, is a great situation going forward. We know what we got.”

Does Pete Carroll Prefer Drew Lock?


For some reason Carroll keeps bringing up Lock, who’s proven on numerous occasions “he ain’t it”. Sounds like Carroll is drumming up Lock as a ploy for negotiations with Smith.

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Carroll has been implying that Lock can step in and play well because of the system. If that were the case, why isn’t he the starter now? He’s under contract longer.

Smith needs to keep commanding respect because everyone will have a “let’s see you do it again” attitude towards this breakout season. A playoff win would help.