Bump: How Lamar Jackson’s situation sheds light on Geno Smith, Seahawks

Jan 28, 2023, 10:30 AM
Seahawks QB Geno Smith...
Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks takes the field against the New York Giants at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

The Seahawks aren’t the only playoff team looking to re-sign their starting quarterback.

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Out on the East Coast, the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson have yet to come to terms on a new deal. The former NFL MVP has reportedly turned down a few big offers that include very high guaranteed dollars.

While it’s unlikely Geno Smith will command the same amount of money or value that Jackson will, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus says that Jackson’s ongoing contract situation helps shed light on what’s going on with Smith and the Seahawks.

“Oh, man, as I saw this go down, I thought about our texters who tell us, ‘Geno’s not worth this and worth that,'” Bumps said during Friday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM. “And Lamar Jackson has turned down a fully-guaranteed $133 million contract … And you know why he turned that down? Because he saw what Deshaun Watson got and goes, ‘Look, I’m better than him. I should be getting that type of money.'”

After sitting out the 2021 season due to disagreements with the Houston Texans’ front office and ongoing legal trouble due to numerous sexual assault accusations, Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns and signed a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract ($46 million per year). Bumpus thinks Jackson is looking for a deal that exceeds what Watson is getting because he’s a better and younger player who has far less baggage than the Browns’ starter.

“The Cleveland Browns set the market for franchise quarterbacks now. They might have jacked it up, but they set the market,” Bumpus said. “And I automatically thought, ‘That’s Geno Smith.’ He’s looking at other quarterbacks and is saying, ‘Alright, they’re getting paid that much, alright, I’m better than that guy. This year, I performed better than that guy. I should be getting paid more than that.'”

“All Contracts are a comparison negotiation. That’s what it is,” Bumpus added. “What have you done? Who can we compare you to? Can you outperform that guy? That’s all it is.”

A potential Smith extension is thought to be in the neighborhood of $30 million annually, and Bumpus said that’s because of what quarterbacks who Smith outperformed are getting paid, not because it’s something “we’re just pulling out of thin air.”

“You look across the league and you compare and negotiate,” he said. “And that’s exactly what Lamar Jackson is doing. He’s doing it that way higher level because he’s been an MVP, he’s been in league for a while, it’s time for him to get paid, he’s younger than (most quarterback). So I just thought of that as an example to just try to shed some light on some people who are pulling their hair out over this $30 million number. I’m saying that’s just what happens in negotiations. What is my competitor doing? … That’s all Geno is doing. That’s all we’re doing is comparing and contrasting.”

Listen to the full second hour of Friday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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