BROCK AND SALK

Carroll: Where things stand with Seahawks, Geno Smith on a new deal

Jan 16, 2023, 11:04 AM
Seahawks Geno Smith Pete Carroll...
Geno Smith and head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks celebrate a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders on November 27, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are officially in offseason mode after a 41-23 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

Rost: How the Seahawks put a new twist on an old story

Much of the offseason focus will be on the draft and free agency and how Seattle uses that to shore up the defense.

And then there’s the quarterback room.

The Seahawks got Pro Bowl play from Geno Smith in 2022, and they’re also very high on his backup, Drew Lock. The potential issue is both Smith and Lock are pending free agents.

So how does head coach Pete Carroll feel about the Seahawks’ quarterback room now that the season is done? He discussed that and the future for Smith on Monday morning during the final Pete Carroll Show of the season on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

“I do know how our guys felt about their experience,” Carroll said of his quarterbacks. “We love our guys and how they feel. Geno, he had the time of his life and would like nothing more than to be with us moving forward. And Drew had a great first year with us, as well. And I felt like the relationships, what we know about our guys, what they know about us, is as heightened as it could be … We’re really looking forward to getting all that done.”

Smith’s play has been better than nearly anyone expected, setting up the 32 year old for a potentially monster payday.

Can the Seahawks afford to pay big money at quarterback this offseason?

“Well, if you want to have one of the top guys in NFL, you’re gonna have to go get it,” Carroll said. “Geno’s aware of what the situation is, too. He wants to have a good team around him, also. So we’ll try to figure out the best way that we can and see where we are. That’s what free agency is all about for the players – this is their time of year.”

Carroll seemed very optimistic Smith will be back with the team for 2023.

“He knows this is the best place for him. He knows that we understand him and appreciate him and love everything that he brings and the leadership. And he loves his guys and his team and coaches – all of that. So it’s a big lovefest,” Carroll said. “And we need to figure it out and make all the right decisions. Can we afford to? Well, if you want to have a great player, you’ve got to pay for stuff … We know where we’re going with this thing, and we’re going to try to make all the right choices. There’s difficult choices. This is the business time of the year.”

Have the Seahawks started contract talks with Smith?

“There’s been the preliminary setups and stuff knowing that there’s a timeframe and all that,” Carroll said. “But we’re not (deep) into it at all yet … But we’re on our way and feel assured that (general manager John Schneider) is all over it. He’s got it going.”

As far as Smith’s on-field play goes, was there anything that surprised Carroll?

“I think I’ve said it a number of times, he has surprised me. I mean, I didn’t realize he could go this long this well on top of it. I didn’t know,” he said. “I always knew how talented he was and I loved his competitiveness and was rooting for him. He extended our expectations in that he was so together. He was so complete of a competitor and we were able to to deal with his personality of it.”

Throughout this season, Carroll reiterated that Smith is a “feisty guy.” On Monday, he said that that kind of mindset can sometimes “work against him.”

“We understood that about him and and were able to navigate it. I thought (quarterbacks coach) Dave Canales did an incredible job (along with assistant quarterbacks coach) Kerry Joseph in helping Geno find his connection to really the greatness that he has,” Carroll said.

What really stood out to Carroll about Smith was that he was very consistent in his play and mindset throughout the year.

“He could have been rushed with the excitement and get caught up in it and the talk, and he just handled himself (with) one opportunity after another and we just kept going, ‘That’s our guy, man. Listen to him, watch him,’ and he kept coming through,” Carroll said. “And I think that he’s proven that he can play well in the difficult situations and can bring you back and can finish the game and all that.”

Carroll noted that Smith started red hot in the playoff loss to the 49ers, which was impressive as San Francisco had the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense in 2022.

“He executed his butt off against the most difficult defense that you could go against, in the most difficult of situations and the heightened moment of the playoffs, and he came through,” Carroll said. “He’s a winner and we’re lucky to have had this experience with him, and I hope that we can do it some more.”

Listen to the final Pete Carroll Show of the year at this link or in the player below.

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