__ The Seattle Seahawks are closing in on an agreement on their quarterback for the 2017 season. Here’s a look at the three main points involved: Geno Smith had a decent season as a starter when healthy for the New York Jets, but he has been hampered by injury throughout his career and also by an unfortunate off-the-field incident where he allegedly threw his cell phone at a woman in a bar. Seattle has also shown reluctance to give him a long-term deal. The former first-round pick has one year left on his contract with the Jets, which would make it likely that he’ll return, but is the third-time starter to be fired as a rookie. Smith was a first-round pick, so it’s not that surprising that this is happening now. It’s been a pretty impressive rookie season, including a Super Bowl win for a team that hasn’t been the Super Bowl champs in two decades. All season long, however, Seattle’s coaching staff has been wary of trusting Smith as a potential starter, which probably made this move especially surprising, because after missing the final 14 games of last season, he looks ready to make a jump to the NFL. At just 29 years old, his future is much brighter than a year ago, and he needs to find a long-term deal in the new three-year rookie contract. If Smith shows something in 2017 it might turn that decision around. Is Geno Smith the next Russell Wilson? With Wilson set to come off the PUP list on March 13, we can only wonder what kind of role the third-year pro will be playing on offense, given that the Seahawks were so keen on drafting Thomas Rawls even when Rawls didn’t even play last season. As we wrote about here , Rawls probably is better at this point in his career than Wilson is, and a year ago Rawls averaged a top-10 yards per carry, but he has struggled to get any carries during what would be a difficult transition from the rushing attack he led at Boise State to the passing attack he’ll have to run in Seattle. Will Seattle trade for J.D. McKissic or add a player to become a long-term depth tackle like Justin Britt? Seattle drafted a tackle in Ethan Pocic with its second-round pick this year, which makes their depth a big problem because of all these players still on the roster. After losing Cliff Avril on a cheap deal this offseason, Seattle might want a guy that can step in on Sunday and be there for the full season. With Seattle’s offensive line still working to get up to speed, we see some big names getting cut or being re-signed, and with no long-term deal coming on the table, there might even be some trades. The only question is whether the second-round pick Seattle acquired back in 2015 is part of that plan.
What is the Seahawks plan moving forward? The Seahawks, as of right now, have three quarterbacks on the roster: Smith, McGinn, and McMillian. Smith will start the regular season, and perhaps he’ll start playing in the preseason to prove he can be a first-round pick with the right quarterback coach, but McGinn, who is set to be released, is an interesting option. The team appears to prefer him as a backup, but that may be one reason they traded McGinn, as the Seahawks needed someone to help protect Wilson in 2017. McGinn hasn’t been a great backup last year, and it was clear that the team still had some concerns with him last year. He has been in and out of the lineup, but it’s safe to say he can play in the Seahawks’ offense, and he would likely be a decent late-round pick either in the first or fifth round again, depending on where Seattle wants to draft him. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have $12.5 million in salary cap space this season, which could be used to bring in another quarterback if need be.
What could Seattle consider? The main question is, what could Seattle consider? This could involve either buying some talent from a competitor and potentially giving up picks or trading up for a player from a different division. The Seahawks may feel that they need some new options in place, or they could feel they need a long-term answer at quarterback. Regardless, they’ll have to figure out a way to make this thing work.