The Seahawks are officially out of the running for former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. According to multiple sources, however, head coach Pete Carroll and company never had any genuine interest in him. With Mayfield removed from the equation, the QB battle now leads back to Geno Smith or Drew Lock duking it out in the Seahawks locker room to take the helm. This hasn’t stopped further speculation though that the front office may still be shopping for another option. Below are three quarterbacks that could be leading the way into the 2022 season.
In his time with the Seahawks, Smith had three opportunities with the team in the 2021 season. Credited with two losses and one win, his overall performance merited recognition. Smith threw a touchdown in his first two games and closed out his run with two more before Russell Wilson’s return from a finger injury. In addition, his cautious approach led to an overall 103.0 QB rating in three appearances.
It should be noted though, that of the 45 completions Smith charted in his full-time starts, very few went for more than 10 yards. To be precise, according to the NFL Next Gen stats passing charts, only seven completions went farther. The small sample size leaves many questions marks as to Smith’s potential as a Seahawk, but the current trend places him as a safe bet at QB.
Lock is no stranger to fighting for a starting spot as the former Denver Bronco competed with Teddy Bridgewater to helm the Broncos last season. Eventually playing back up to Bridgewater, Lock started three games to close out 2021. This followed the infamous 2020 season where Lock led the league in interceptions with a whopping 15 picks. When compared to Smith, Lock finished 2021 with fewer touchdowns in the air (two) after replacing Bridgewater.
Curiously, Lock chalked up two rushing touchdowns against Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs defense. Lock is the younger player and could see more time using his legs versus Smith. He would have big shoes to fill to replicate the elusive Russell Wilson style fans have come to recognize, but age does give Lock the athletic edge over Smith. This makes Lock the riskier, but more aggressive choice.
The wild card that now falls into Seattle’s hand is Jimmy Garoppolo. Once more an outside QB could land in Seattle as offseason talks continue. The Seahawks have faced Garoppolo for the past three seasons, so they are very familiar with what he is capable of. He’s also an experienced QB that has started a Super Bowl game and played more post-season games than the other two.
While Garoppolo would bring experience and leadership to the Seahawks, the only reason his name has reached Seattle is due to the San Francisco 49ers’ current cap space situation. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, it’s now a waiting game.
As the offseason continues, “…the 49ers and Seattle know they can sort of maybe wait this out because the 49ers have limited cap space right now,” Fowler said.
It’s clear that the 49ers have other priorities.
“They want to re-sign Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel,” Fowler said. To do that they need some of Garoppolo’s $24 million in base salary. Seattle probably knows that, which means maybe they won’t try to make a trade, they’ll just wait for the 49ers to release him.”
The situation has echoes of the Baker Mayfield rumors, and Fowler’s remarks indicate the 49ers recent success relied more on Bosa and Samuel. It is worth considering though to bring Garoppolo and his NFC West knowledge even as the Seahawks continue to build back up.