Brady HendersonESPN3 minute read
The NFL Returning Player of the Year returns to Seattle.
Seahawks and Pro Bowl quarterback Geno Smith has reached an agreement on a three-year, $105 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter on Monday.
The deal includes $52 million in the first year, sources said.
Both sides had expressed optimism that a deal could be reached. By reaching an agreement on Monday, they beat Tuesday’s deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag, which would have resulted in a $32.416 million price tag for quarterbacks in 2023.
Smith, 32, was one of the biggest surprises of the 2022 NFL season, earning the Pro Bowl sign and the league’s Returning Player of the Year award after spending most of the last seven seasons as a substitute.
He won the starting job for the Seahawks after Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos – beating widely assumed front-runner Drew Lock – and delivered one of the most prolific seasons in franchise history. Playing on a one-year, $3.5 million contract, Smith led the league in completion percentage (69.8%), was sixth in total QBR (60.8) and was fourth in assists. touchdown (30) to lead the Seahawks to an unexpected playoff berth as the seventh seed in the NFC.
That’s a big leap from the 58.8 percent completion rate and 43.6 QBR he posted in 46 games prior to last season.
Smith started all 17 regular season games as well as Seattle’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the wildcard round, didn’t miss a single snap and set the Seahawks’ single-season records for the completion rate, completions (399) and passing yards (4,282), breaking the marks Wilson has set in 16 game seasons.
Bearings became a problem for Smith over time. He threw seven of his 11 interceptions over the final seven games of the regular season, admitting at one point he was trying to do too much.
After the playoff loss, an emotional Smith said he wanted to end his career in Seattle, adding that he wanted to “repay” the organization for kissing him at a time when he “probably could have been out of the league”.
Smith had spent the previous three seasons as Wilson’s backup in Seattle. The Seahawks re-signed him last April, three months after he was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. Smith has not yet been charged in the case as prosecutors await blood test results.
A second-round pick by the New York Jets in West Virginia in 2013, Smith struggled with turnover issues in his first two seasons, then lost his starting job in the summer of 2015 after being hit by a teammate during an infamous altercation in the locker room. landing on injured reserve with a broken jaw. He spent the 2017 season with the New York Giants after his rookie contract expired, then spent the 2018 season with the Chargers before signing with Seattle in 2019.
When Smith threw two touchdown passes to beat Wilson and the Broncos in Week 1, it marked the NFL’s longest gap between Opening Day starts since 1971. He became the first quarterback since Rich Gannon in 1999 being selected for his first Pro Bowl of the year. 10 or later in his career.
Smith threw for 11,199 yards with 64 touchdowns and 48 interceptions during his career.