GEE AND URSULA

QB Geno Smith leads Seahawks to improbable playoff berth

Jan 9, 2023, 3:01 PM

QB Geno Smith...

Seahawks QB Geno Smith will be a free agent at the end of the season. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

After being a backup for several years, quarterback Geno Smith has led the Seahawks to an improbable playoff berth. Now we get to see if they can lock up their soon-to-be free-agent QB.

Seattle Sports 710 host Mike Salk told Gee & Ursula, “Let’s wait and find out and see what the playoffs look like. Let’s see how Geno handles the spotlight of being in the postseason for the first time. I think that’s an important data point.”

Salk of the Brock and Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 said the Hawks missed their opportunity to sign Smith earlier this year, so why not wait until after the playoffs?

“If Geno has an unbelievable postseason, he earns himself even more money,” said Salk. “It may be harder for the Hawks to sign him, and they may need to spend more or risk losing him.”

Pete Carroll reacts to Seahawks making playoffs, breaks down win over Rams

Salk went on to say that cuts both ways.

“He didn’t play all that well yesterday, and yet still found a way to win, which is a huge credit to him. He got it done late, which is what big-time quarterbacks need to do,” Salk said. “But the playoffs will provide more data they can use to help them make this decision over the course of the next game or hopefully more than that.”

Gee told Salk that winning nine games in the regular season should be all the proving Smith needed to do.

“I think that he did do enough early in the season. If you could have found a way to lock them up for the right amount, they should have probably done that,” Salk explained.

“I don’t know whether he was interested. He may have said, ‘No, I really believe in myself and I want to be a free agent.’ And if that’s the case, then okay, fine. But I think it’s on the Seahawks at that point to be smart and see what he does in the postseason and collect [those] data points as well,” Salk explained.

Smith could demand upwards of $30 million

Just how much Smith will be able to demand is anyone’s guess.

“The franchise tag is going to be somewhere in the $33 million range,” Salk said. “Our friend, Brady Henderson from ESPN, thinks Geno will probably make just under that when it’s all said and done. Somewhere in the $30 million range.”

Salk said the question is not whether or not the Seahawks want him to stay. He said he thinks they do. “The question is, in a sport that has a salary cap, unlike baseball, do they want to go back on that? You know, the merry-go-round where you’re paying a quarterback top dollar? And I don’t know whether they do.”

Salk said Coach Pete Carroll made a comment after yesterday’s win against the Los Angeles Rams about the strength of their offensive system. “And that certainly made me wonder whether or not he’s thinking, ‘Hey, there are other guys around who can do this just as well, and for a lot less money,’ which allows them to spend money elsewhere on their team.”

Re-signing Smith will not be the only thing on the Seahawks’ post-season agenda. The draft is coming,

How much of a hit to Seahawks is top pick dropping to No. 5?

“So they have Denver’s first two picks in this year’s draft (because of the Russell Wilson trade),” Salk said. “All year long, it was looking like that first pick was going to be the number three pick overall. And then the Broncos won yesterday, and the Texans won yesterday, and the pick fell from being No. 3 to No. 5.”

Salk said it’s still nice to have the fifth pick, but he said he believes there are four top players out there to be chosen.

“The pick right after that is not as great as it could be. But it still means the Seahawks are going to have three picks in the top 135 or so of this year’s draft,” Salk said. “And that should give them an opportunity to continue building a team that has obviously made great strides this year.”

And about Saturday’s playoff game against arch-rival San Francisco?

“I think oddsmakers in Vegas have established the Seahawks as 10-and-a-half-point underdogs. So they’re not exactly confident in what the Seahawks can do,” Salk said. “I don’t think most of the NFL community was paying a lot of attention.”

Salk said it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season (The Seahawks have lost to the 49ers twice).

“I think they have a chance,” he said.

Listen to the Brock and Salk Show weekday mornings from 7 – 10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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QB Geno Smith leads Seahawks to improbable playoff berth