Keyshawn Johnson: How much Seahawks should pay Geno on 3-year deal

Feb 11, 2023, 10:07 AM
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Seahawks QB Geno Smith scrambles against the Arizona Cardinals in a Nov. 6, 2022 win. (Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Many are surprised that Geno Smith was a very effective starting quarterback for the Seahawks this past season. ESPN host and former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson isn’t one of them, as he explained to Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Thursday.

Seahawks QB Geno Smith named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

“When I looked at it, and I watched Geno (Smith) when he took over for Russell Wilson in 2021), I said to myself, essentially, for a guy that hasn’t played as a starting quarterback for seven years, he’s doing the same thing that Russell’s doing,” Johnson said. “He’s moving the ball, he’s throwing it, they’re scoring touchdowns. OK, so he’s rusty. But once the rust falls off and he’s the full-time starter without worrying about, ‘If I make a mistake, if I do this I’m gonna get yanked,’ he’s gonna be better for that.”

“I said, man, ‘It’s gonna be the same thing. Watch what  I tell you. They’re going to run the football, they’re going to let him throw the ball less than 30 attempts again, he’s going to have about 200-something every game. He’s going to have a touchdown in the air. Maybe every now and then he has a turnover,'” Johnson added. “Same thing. Same thing.”

Smith certainly was up to the task, finishing eighth in yards, fourth in touchdowns and first in completion percentage. That led to Smith being named to a Pro Bowler for the first time in his career.

Now the three big questions with Smith are will he be back with the Seahawks in 2023, how much will he cost, and can he replicate his 2022 success?

Smith is hitting free agency after his one-year deal expired, and many think that a starting point for negotiations is over $32 million annually as that’s the price of a franchise tag for a quarterback this offseason.

Johnson thinks Smith can play well again in 2023, and that the Seahawks should get a deal done.

“You pay him the money. You may not pay him $50 million a year, but you reward him,” he said.

“Geno Smith is better than any quarterback you gonna get in college right now, anyway … He’s just seasoned. He’s better than those guys right now,” Johnson added. “I didn’t say don’t draft a quarterback. What I’m saying is he’s your guy for the next two or three years while that guy gets ready to take over if Geno falters.”

So how much would Johnson pay Smith in a new deal? He said the Seahawks likely have to pay Smith more than the franchise tag number, so he thinks it comes out to about $35 million annually.

“You give him a three-year (contract for $105 million), and you give him about $60 million of it fully guaranteed, $60 to $70 million of it fully guaranteed, and we’re gonna keep it moving,” Johnson said.

Listen to Johnson’s full interview with Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Rost: Even after Smith’s Pro Bowl season, Seahawks face big questions at QB

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