We’re nearing the Seahawks’ 11th game of the 2022 season and quarterback Geno Smith is still one of the most talked about players in the NFL. And for good reason.
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Smith leads the NFL in completion percentage and has 18 total touchdowns through 10 games and has the Hawks at 6-4 and holding a playoff spot heading into their Week 11 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.
But Smith’s fantastic – and largely consistent – play opens up the next stage of Smith’s storybook year, which is his future contract.
Smith is arguably the biggest “bang for your buck” player in the NFL this season as he’s giving Seattle top-10 quarterback play while making just $3.5 million, per Spotrac, on a one-year deal.
His next contract has been discussed by many, with some estimates having Smith making $33 million per year.
Someone who knows the ins and outs of NFL contracts and the salary cap Joel Corry, a former sports agent who is now a contributor for CBS Sports. He joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy on Tuesday to discuss what a new contract for Smith likely looks like.
“Even just this far into the season when you think about what a deal might look like for him, what comes to mind?” host Stacy Rost asked Corry.
Replied Corry, “Sticker shock for the Seahawks.”
That’s because Corry thinks Smith may end up making roughly 10 times as much money annually as he is making this year.
Currently, Corry said, the average NFL starting quarterback salary is about $21 million. But that total includes quarterbacks playing on their rookie contracts.
Take out those rookie deals and the average salary for veteran starting quarterbacks is just over $32 million annually.
“If I’m (Smith’s) agent, I’m throwing out the rookie contracts because those are set by the rookie wage scale and I’m looking at that $32 million, which tracks very close to what the franchise tag number is going to do,” Corry said.
What’s important to note with Smith is that next year’s quarterback market – not including the NFL Draft – isn’t looking very robust.
Corry thinks Tom Brady leaves the Buccaneers and goes to the San Francisco 49ers, which would make Jimmy Garrapolo more likely to leave via free agency. Garrapolo, Smith and New York’s Daniel Jones would headline a theoretical free agent class.
Corry thinks Garoppolo may have a larger market than Smith because he has a longer track record of success. Smith, Corry said, has a wide range of possibilities for his future once his next deal is signed.
“Pete Carroll threw out Rich Gannon as someone who had a career trajectory similar to what Geno may have. Gannon went on to be a league MVP,” he said. “Or he could be Case Keenum, who had one great year when Sam Bradford got hurt in Minnesota and signed for $36 million over two years in Denver in 2018 and Case Keenum has been a perennial backup after that one year. So I’m not sure what the market would be there with Geno.”
Smith may wind up being more valuable to the Seahawks than any other team, Corry said, which is something to consider. The other thing to consider? Despite Seattle’s success this season, the Seahawks will likely draft very high in the first round of next April’s draft because the Denver Broncos are struggling with a 3-7 record.
If the season were to end today, Seattle would have the fifth pick in the draft while also making the playoffs.
“It looks like it’s most definitely going to be a top-10 pick, and it could be in the top-five, which would put you in striking distance of drafting a (top) quarterback,” Corry said. “So do you hedge your bets and draft a quarterback this year which would, in a sense, take away some of Geno’s leverage with the team? So that’s an interesting variable in the equation as well.”
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