Geno Smith Salary and Contract: What Can Seattle Do With Their Struggling QB?

Geno Smith had an impressive turnaround last season but has been up and down in 2023. What are the Seahawks' options with the veteran QB?

Geno Smith had one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent NFL history last season, as he had the best year of his career with the Seattle Seahawks. The veteran quarterback has since been up and down in 2023, however, raising questions about his future with the organization.

How much is Smith making this year and going forward, and what could Seattle do with its struggling signal-caller?

Geno Smith’s Salary and Contract

Smith signed a three-year contract worth up to $105 million with Seattle during the offseason after his breakout 2022 campaign.

The journeyman quarterback had the most productive year of his NFL career last season, completing 69.8% of his pass attempts for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while also running for 366 yards and one score. Smith earned Comeback Player of the Year honors as a result after never fully finding his footing across his first seven NFL seasons.

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The Seahawks rewarded that production with an incentive-laden contract that included $75 million in base value, led by $27.3 million fully guaranteed at signing. Many of Smith’s incentives include roster bonuses, which pay out on certain dates if certain milestones were met the previous season and Smith is still on Seattle’s roster.

Those are different from performance incentives, which are guaranteed the moment a player surpasses a stipulated milestone. In Smith’s case, this means he will have to surpass certain milestones and still be on the roster by the time the payout date rolls around.

It all adds up to plenty of flexibility for Seattle, which owes Smith roughly $10 million in base compensation for the 2023 season and could realistically move on from him after this year if it so desires.

Smith’s base salary for 2024 will become fully guaranteed six days after the Super Bowl if he is still on the roster. The franchise could save at least $13.8 million while incurring $17.4 million in dead cap that it could spread over two years if it were to cut Smith before that date, according to ESPN.

If Seattle feels it’s best to move on from Smith at that point and look elsewhere at quarterback, it could certainly do so. It could also look to trade Smith to return some assets for him if it found a suitable partner.

That could very well be the case, given his ups and downs throughout the 2023 season. Smith has completed 65.4% of his pass attempts for 2,584 yards, 12 touchdowns, and eight interceptions through the first 11 games of the season, leaving him behind the pace to match last season’s totals.

The Seahawks’ other option on the quarterback depth chart currently is Drew Lock, who has made two brief appearances this season and never quite found his footing as a consistent starter in the league.

Time will tell how Seattle ultimately decides to handle Smith, but his contract certainly gives them plenty of flexibility to move on if needed.

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