On the eve of the NFL franchise tag deadline and with free agency less than a week away, Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks struck a deal on a three-year, $105 million contract to keep the 32-year-old quarterback in the Pacific Northwest, NFL Media reported.
The 10-year NFL veteran earned the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award and a Pro Bowl nomination in 2022, his first season as a full-time starter in his four with Seattle. His new deal will pay him $35 million annually, a significant raise from the $7 million he received in 2021.
Smith had earned a total payout of slightly less than $17.5 million, per Spotrac, to this point in his career. He can earn nearly triple that in the first year of his new contract, which includes a whopping $52 million in the first season, ESPN confirmed.
Smith led the NFL in completion percentage (69.8 percent) and posted career highs in passing yards (4,282), touchdown passes (30) and completions (399) while leading the Seahawks back to the playoffs in what many expected to be a rebuilding year.
“The NFL is all about seizing your opportunity and Geno Smith did just that as the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks this season,” said former NFL quarterback and The 33rd Team contributor Matt Cassel. “There were big question marks last offseason for the organization after parting ways with long time starter Russell Wilson. Smith answered the call with an incredible season.
“He led the league in completion percentage, finished sixth in QBR, fourth in touchdown passes, and a playoff of birth. In addition, he set franchise record for most passing yards in a single season. As a result, Seattle has been rewarded Smith with a three-year deal and made a clear statement that he is their quarterback for the immediate future.”
Smith will make the same average annual amount as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. The contract ties him for the 10th-most expensive deal among NFL quarterbacks.
The Seahawks have a playoff-caliber roster, two first-round picks in April’s 2023 NFL Draft, and now their veteran quarterback locked down. That gives them all sorts of options to improve their roster for the 2023 season.