Seahawks re-sign QB Geno Smith, eight restricted and exclusive free agents
“He’s invested a lot with us, he’s the one who knows our system best,” Carroll said at the NFL’s annual meeting last month. “He performed well once he started last year. Can he pick up where he ended? Unfortunately, the Jacksonville game was his last game, and it was almost a perfect football game for us. We have very high hopes that he can make the system work very well.
“What Geno has presented to us is his consistency, and really loyalty to be part of our program at this time of year and we have to make a decision: does he want to come back and stay with us? Over the years, he always wanted to be here. He loved where he was. He loved the relationship he had with the coaches and myself and the program and all that. He’s just been really upbeat and positive. He’s shown that when he finally got his opportunity – I mean he sat forever it’s been about four years since he really had a chance to play – so the few games it took him to start were very tough games, and we had weather conditions, we were on the road and all that, and we almost got every one of those games and he showed he was capable, he could hang on When he had two games under his belt, now he’s going to Jacksonville, and I think he’s comm enced the game 14 for 14 or something like that. He couldn’t have been more impressive, had a nearly perfect match that day, and that was the last shot he had. So it all led to the opportunity, he was available when it came up, and he took advantage of it… So it was positive and upbeat and hopeful, plus he’s a very competitive guy , which we love. His mentality, the players love him and he gets along with everyone.”
Smith will be part of a competition for the starting quarterback position that Carroll sees as similar to the situation in 2012 when the Seahawks returned in 2011, starter Tarvaris Jackson, signed free agent Matt Flynn, then drafted Russell Wilson, who ended up winning the job. in the camp. So far, the Seahawks have Smith, Drew Lock, who was traded for Wilson, and Jacob Eason, a former University of Washington standout who Seattle claimed waivers last season.
Although Smith has a real shot at winning the starting job for the first time in his Seahawks career, he has approached this offseason no differently than any other in his career.
“I worked hard,” Smith said Tuesday. “I’m preparing as if I’ve been a starter for 10 years now, so it doesn’t change anything for me, the opponent is just different. So I’m happy to be able to show my work, but overall my mentality has been the same.
“The competition brings out the best in all of us, so I’m extremely excited, I can’t wait to be there. I can’t wait for the fans and everyone to see it. It’s going to be very different from what it has been. Been the last nine or ten years with Russell in Seattle, but overall I’m still up to the same thing.”
Carroll also said last month that even if Smith re-signs, adding another quarterback, whether in the draft, free agency or through a trade, is likely to happen this offseason.
“We’re totally in this mentality that the fourth guy can be important to us,” Carroll said. “We’re definitely still in the quarterback business.”
Regardless of the Seahawks’ addition to the position, Carroll considers Smith to be ahead of the competition when training camp begins thanks to his experience in Seattle.
“If everything is set up the way we see it, as it should be, it’s going to be a very competitive opportunity,” Carroll said. “And I’m going to look at this thing like we did years ago (in 2012) and structure it so that everyone gets a good shot as best we can. That’s what competition is all about. I gotta give them the opportunity by presenting it, and we’ll see if Geno can take it in. He’s sort of the leader because he’s been with us for so many years, he knows what’s going on.