Another quarterback domino has fallen with Derek Carr and Geno Smith both signing deals, leaving teams with limited options if they want to add a veteran quarterback this free agency
The Seattle Seahawks have re-signed quarterback Geno Smith to a three-year, $105 million contract extension — taking another quarterback off the market while teams await Aaron Rodgers’ final decision.
Rodgers recently completed a “dark retreat” as he considers what to do next in his NFL career. The Green Bay Packers star is likely to either request a trade away from the franchise or retire.
Smith, on the other hand, had an incredible 2022 season as he played as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL after being benched and a backup for seven years. The 32-year-old had been a back-up behind Russell Wilson for three years before getting the starting spot after Wilson was traded away to the Denver Broncos.
It came just hours after the New Orleans Saints announced they had signed former Las Vegas Raiders starter Derek Carr to a four-year deal, in which the New York Jets had strong interest after meeting with him.
The Jets now have to look elsewhere, and with teams already planning to draft a quarterback in the upcoming class next month, some teams may now be forced to make a move for the likes of Rodgers. The legendary Green Bay Packers is said to be available for two first-round draft picks, with the franchise potentially taking less at this point.
With no clear path to draft a quarterback, the Jets may now have to choose between giving up assets for Rodgers, or signing Jimmy Garoppolo as a free agent.
With a winning streak now, many would argue that Rodgers would be the way to go, with it being a great fit at quarterback as well, playing behind a strong offensive line and a new superstar at wide receiver in Garrett Wilson.
The Las Vegas Raiders have also been linked to Rodgers, but while all reports indicate the Raiders will look to draft their starter, they may not be able to do so now with all four highly touted quarterbacks impressing the scouting combine and now being projected. to go within the first five choices.
The Seahawks are one of the teams picking in the top five, and some suggest they won’t now draft a quarterback after extending Smith… which isn’t necessarily true.
Smith’s extension appears to be a front-loaded deal, with NFL insider Ian Rapoport reporting that Smith will make as much as $52 million in his first season. This means the Seahawks could look to get out of the contract after a year or two, with many believing the team will still draft a quarterback with the fifth overall draft pick.
That’s good news for Rodgers, with another team missing out on drafting a quarterback, potentially making a move for the 39-year-old to secure plans for the 2023 season.