INDIANAPOLIS — The Seattle Seahawks continue to be all-in working to get Geno Smith a new contract to remain their quarterback.
They also are all-in on the top quarterbacks in this NFL draft class full of them.
That was coach Pete Carroll’s message — loud and clear — to the league Tuesday as its annual scouting combine began in Indianapolis.
Seattle thinks it will have its 2022 Pro Bowl quarterback re-signed before free agency begins and the rest of the NFL could bid on the 32-year-old veteran. That’s March 15, the start of the new league year.
“It’s ongoing. We are doing it,” Carroll said off-podium inside the Indiana Convention Center early Tuesday afternoon.
“How’s it going? I think it’s going to go (in) the right direction. We’ve got to get it done.”
Carroll said the team and Smith are far closer on getting a new deal done than they were when last season ended with the Seahawks’ playoff loss at San Francisco. That was six weeks ago.
“Oh, yeah,” the coach said. “We’re going back and forth, so we’re on it. This is a serious time of it, and we’ll see how it works out.
“There’s a lot going on, though, along with that, too.”
That includes having the fifth-overall pick in April’s draft. It’s the highest choice Seattle’s had in the 13-year regime of Carroll and general manager John Schneider running the franchise.
That means the Seahawks want the NFL to know, yes, they are in on scouting, interviewing and considering Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, Hendon Hooker — any and all of the top college quarterbacks here at the combine and entering this QB-stacked draft.
Carroll said while the Seahawks are talking hard to re-sign Smith for 2023 and beyond, “we are totally connected to the quarterbacks that are coming out” in this draft class. That’s because of what the coach called Seattle’s “incredible” opportunity holding a generational pick, fifth overall, in this draft.
That’s no doubt true.
And it’s no doubt intended to be a signal to quarterback-needy teams sitting below Seattle in the first round, such Carolina picking ninth, that the Seahawks are open to listen to trade offers to move down a bit in this draft and collect even more top picks than the four in the 52 selections Seattle has in the windfall from trading Russell Wilson to Denver 12 months ago.
This month at the Pro Bowl Smith said it was looking “very good” for him signing a new contract to remain with the Seahawks. He is seeking his first multiyear deal since the rookie contract he signed with the New York Jets in 2013, at a salary that will likely raise him from $3.5 million last year to perhaps $30 million per season.
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