GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after scoring a touchdown during an NFL Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are reportedly expected to make quarterback Geno Smith a long-term contract offer this offseason.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Seahawks want Smith to remain as their starter “into the future” after most expected him to be a stopgap for the 2022 season. Smith has instead been the 2022 season’s most surprising breakout player, throwing for 2,199 yards and 15 touchdowns against four interceptions.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll credited Smith’s relationship with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron as a big reason for the quarterback’s success—all while throwing shade in Russell Wilson’s direction in the process.

“He’s getting everything he can get out of Shane,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle. “That’s a really important part of it. Shane helps him all the way through to the 15-second point (when communication from the sideline stops). … They’re just communicating to get it done and there’s this conversation that goes on, so they work it out, and Geno (is) taking advantage of all of that.

“If you notice, Geno’s going off the wristband, and that’s a big help. It’s smoothed things out, sped things up, cleaned things up. And that’s part of it, too. We never did that before. There was resistance to that, so we didn’t do that before.”

A 2013 second-round pick, Smith struggled mightily early in his career with the New York Jets before eventually settling in as a career backup. He went from the Jets to the Giants and the Chargers before finally settling in behind Wilson in 2019. When Seattle traded Wilson to Denver in March, many expected the Seahawks to acquire a higher-profile option as a replacement.

Instead, Carroll expressed confidence in Smith, and he’s looked great so far this season. Seattle is a surprising 6-3 and leads the NFC West despite nearly all experts predicting a last-place finish. Smith is garnering MVP support after many pegged him as the NFL’s worst starting quarterback coming into the season.

While the Seahawks have gotten a little bit of good luck this season—they’ve only outscored their opponents by 21 points—there’s no doubt Smith has done enough to be back next season with a contract befitting of a starter.

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