Report: Seahawks keeping Geno Smith, guaranteeing ’24 salary

Feb 15, 2024, 11:21 AM | Updated: 11:25 am

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks runs the ball in 2024. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The first big roster decision of the Seattle Seahawks’ Mike Macdonald era has apparently been made, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that they will be keeping quarterback Geno Smith on the roster this week, which kicks in some major salary guarantees.

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The Seahawks had to make a decision on Smith’s contract as his salary for the 2024 season becomes fully guaranteed on Friday. According to Schefter, the Seahawks told Smith on Thursday “that he will remain on the roster through this week,” which allows $12.7 million in his contract to convert from injury guaranteed money to fully-guaranteed dollars.

Per Spotrac, Smith has a $31 million cap hit for 2023 and $22.5 million of yearly cash as part of a three-year, $75 million deal he signed last offseason.

According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, just because the Seahawks are keeping Smith on the roster right now doesn’t necessarily mean he will be with the team come Week 1.

“Keeping Smith through Friday would guarantee his $12.7M base salary for 2024 but it wouldn’t necessarily guarantee he remains on Seattle’s roster. The Seahawks could conceivably trade him, along with that $12.7 million and the remainder of his contract, before March 18,” Henderson posted on social media.

Schefter reported something similar, as well.

“The Seahawks believed that, in today’s market, with salaries soaring for starting quarterbacks, the right decision was to pay the money, per sources,” Schefter reported. “Now Geno Smith will represent a value to them – or any other team that decides to reach out to see if it can acquire Smith via trade. But Seattle now has locked in Smith, and Smith has locked in his $12.7 million.”

Smith, 33, just finished his second year as Seattle’s starting quarterback and his fifth year with the Seahawks in total.

A longtime backup, Smith won the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job in 2022 and was one of the best quarterbacks in football that year, finishing top 10 in touchdowns and yards and leading the NFL in completion percentage. Smith led the Seahawks to a 9-8 record and a playoff spot, winning Comeback Player of the Year honors and making the Pro Bowl as a result.

Smith’s production took a hit in 2023, but he was still solid overall. In 15 starts, Smith completed 64.7% of his passes for 3,624 yards and 20 touchdowns.

If Smith does indeed stay with the Seahawks for this season, he will not only have a new head coach in Macdonald, but also a new offensive coordinator in Ryan Grubb, who comes to Seattle from the UW Huskies.

Seattle has the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft, and the Seahawks have ties to two of the draft’s top quarterbacks: Macdonald was with J.J. McCarthy at Michigan in 2021, while Grubb was with UW’s Michael Penix Jr. the last two years.

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