Mountaineers in the Pros
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll Speaks Candidly About Contract Negotiations with Geno Smith
Geno Smith’s miraculous comeback story has been well documented, but the question now becomes if it will continue on in Seattle, something the Seahawks quarterback has made it known is his wish.
Aside from Smith himself, another man who may have a significant say on if the Seahawks bring back the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year as their franchise quarterback and look to carry over the momentum from his historic 2022 season that led to a surprise playoff appearance for an organization believed to be rebuilding. That man is head coach Pete Carroll. And while at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, Carroll was directly asked during a podium session about his feelings towards Smith and any ongoing contract negotiations. Alan Saunders of our partner site Steelers Now was in Indianapolis to capture Carroll’s answers.
“It’s ongoing. We are doing it … How’s it going? I think it’s going to go (in) the right direction. We’ve got to get it done,” Carroll responded in reference to if a contract is actually being worked out and where the negotiations may stand. Smith publicly proclaimed his belief that he will sign a new deal with the Seahawks and that staying with Seattle is his preference after losing in the NFC Wild Card Round to the 49ers.
Seahawks QB Geno Smith on Talks About New Contract: “Looking Very Good”
But since it’s been widely believed and reported that both sides are planning to stay together, the obvious follow up question is if things are further along than they were following the end of the season.
“Oh, yeah. We’re going back and forth, so we’re on it. This is a serious time of it, and we’ll see how it works out. … There’s a lot going on, though, along with that, too,” said Carroll confidently.
Even if they do keep going with Smith under center, he is 32-years-old. Part of what made Smith’s season so incredibly is he was able to have a Pro Bowl year despite not having even been a full-time starter since 2014. So to that end, it’s possible the Seahawks may still seek a younger quarterback option to sit behind Smith and be groomed to take over.
Watch: Geno Smith Leads NFC to Win in Pro Bowl’s Flag Football Game
Carroll was then asked if the franchise has plans to draft a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft regardless what happens with Smith.
He seemed to hint at that still very much being a possibility. “We are totally connected to the quarterbacks that are coming out. This is a really huge opportunity for us. It’s a rare opportunity. We’ve been drafting in the low 20s for such a long time, you just don’t get a chance with these guys.”
Pete Carroll says Seahawks would definitely consider still taking a QB high in draft even if they re-sign Geno Smith. pic.twitter.com/Nh6uAMuvIX
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) February 28, 2023
No matter what the Seahawks do with their future in mind, it’s safe to say the plan is for Smith to still be the present. But that was definitely not something everyone expected to always be a plan that led to a new big contract for the West Virginia product. Even though he was already in the system and had served as his predecessor Russell Wilson’s backup and spot starter when necessary entering the 2022 season, the odds of Smith morphing into a Pro Bowler who achieved NFL history in the process were not high. The pressure was also on Carroll for making the decision to go with Smith and allow the franchise to trade Wilson, the perennial All-Pro quarterback who he won the Seahawks only Super Bowl title with.
So with that all said, what does Carroll think stands out about Smith’s season?
“This was really an incredible experience. He did some amazing things. It’s such a good story and it really happened right before our eyes, a guy that kind of got knocked around and kind of got lost in the shuffle for a while. We fell in love with Geno way back year ago because of his competitiveness. He’s a terrific athlete, as well. He just kind of grew along with us. … The connection just stayed true.”
#Seahawks HC Pete Carroll explained what makes Geno Smith a great QB👇@TWSN___ @Firststarlog #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/EDBlBmRsaA
— Daniel Alameda (@AlamedaViews) February 28, 2023
Watch below to hear from Smith when our Mike Asti caught up with him in Las Vegas at the Pro Bowl.