Does losing QB coach Canales mean Seahawks will also lose Geno?

Feb 16, 2023, 11:08 AM | Updated: 11:09 am
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Seahawks QB Geno Smith rushes the ball against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 7, 2021. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are set to lose one of their longest-tenured assistants, and it’s a move that could shake up far more than Seattle’s coaching staff.

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On Wednesday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were set to hire Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales as their next offensive coordinator. Canales, 41, has been with Seattle head coach Pete Carroll since 2009 at USC, including in Seattle coaching the receivers for eight seasons, quarterbacks for three seasons, and two years as passing game coordinator.

While that hire has not been made official, Canales took to Twitter on Thursday morning to essentially confirm the move.

Outside of altering the Seahawks’ 2023 coaching staff, Canales’ move to Tampa could have a massive impact on Seattle’s quarterback situation, as Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk broke down on Thursday.

“Other than Dave Canales and his wife, who I know, and kids and in-laws and family, the next in line of most excited for the Dave Canales news yesterday was one Geno Smith,” former NFL QB Brock Huard said.

Smith was a Pro Bowler in his fourth season with the Seahawks, which was his first year as Seattle’s starting quarterback. Canales worked closely with Smith all four of those seasons, and Canales now goes to a team that needs a new starting quarterback following Tom Brady’s retirement. Oh, and Smith just happens to be a pending free agent.

“They’ve got nobody with any experience (at quarterback),” Huard said of the Bucs. “And if you’re Geno Smith and you’re his agent, yesterday was … the opposite of doomsday. Because whether you want to go there or not, you’ve got now a little bit more leverage.”

Huard’s co-host Mike Salk noted that it’s better for Smith that Canales ended up in a place that needs a quarterback rather than in Baltimore – where he interviewed twice for the Ravens’ offensive coordinator opening – since the Ravens are likely to keep Lamar Jackson, who, like Smith, is a pending free agent.

Additionally, Smith is a Florida native, born and raised in the Miami area.

“Do I think that Geno Smith would mind going back down to south Florida – obviously to Tampa and not Miami? Nope, I do not,” Huard said. “Is he going to use this at every turn (along with) his agent right now? Absolutely.”

What could help the Seahawks in trying to keep Smith from heading to Florida, Huard said, is that the Bucs are $55 million over the salary cap, most in the NFL, per But if they can move things around and clear some room, Huard can see a path for Smith to be Tampa Bay’s new QB1.

“How much does Dave Canales want Geno? How much is he going to go to bat for him? How much is he going to say, ‘Listen, (head coach Todd Bowles), I’ll do this and I’ve got a relationship with Geno and this is a package deal. You want me? He’s coming.’?” Huard said. “I think he’s gonna push pretty darn hard to bring Geno to Tampa.”

Even if the Bucs don’t want Smith or can’t afford him, it’s worth noting that Seahawks’ other quarterback from last season is a pending free agent. That would be Drew Lock, who just finished his first year in Seattle as Smith’s backup.

“The other option here, though, is if they really don’t have a lot of cap space, there’s another quarterback who (Canales has) got a pretty good relationship with and has seen up close and personal who’s not going to have the same market,” Salk said of Lock, who Huard pointed out lives and trains in Florida in the offseason.

Added Salk: “I don’t want to make this hot take, ‘Oh, Dave Canales is gone and so is Geno.’ Not a hot take. Not saying that. Dave Canales is gone and Geno has more leverage? Yes. Dave Canales is gone and Geno could potentially follow him? Yes, absolutely. Dave Canales is gone and Drew Lock is going to be heading to Tampa with him? Yeah, that’s a possibility as well … If yesterday I was at 55% (confidence) on Geno coming back (to the Seahawks), this probably drops it by 10 percentage points right down to 45% or somewhere in that range, because he’s now got a another real viable option.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.

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