The post-Russell Wilson era in Seattle will make for a fascinating quarterback competition.
There is already a battle set between journeyman Geno Smith and newly acquired Drew Lock that is sure to heat up when training camp gets underway.
And there could eventually be another name in the mix, too, as Cleveland Browns signal-caller Baker Mayfield has recently been linked to the Seahawks.
Seahawks have ‘high-level of interest’ in Baker Mayfield
Seattle Seahawks have reportedly expressed a high-level of interest in acquiring disgruntled Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
Free-agent linebacker K.J. Wright, who spent the first 10 seasons of his NFL career with the Seahawks before joining the Las Vegas Raiders last season, doesn’t think it’s a particularly difficult decision. He’s confident that Seattle’s best move is moving forward with Smith.
“I’ll tell you, not Baker Mayfield. Not Drew Lock. We ain’t gonna play those games. I’m team Geno all day,” Wright said on “I Am Athlete Tonight” on SiriusXM. “Geno was good. He was scout team quarterback. The dude has a cannon for an arm. He’s intellectual, you know, having those two-minute drills during practice throughout the week, the man can play. Just trust him, just trust Geno.
“And what I said was whoever you decide to be your starting quarterback, the other guy has got to leave. You cannot have both those guys in the building throughout the season. Because what’s gonna happen? Let’s say game three or four they’re not playing as well. What are the fans gonna do? … ‘Put the backup in.’ And so to hell with all that, whoever’s the starting quarterback, the other guy, you’ve got to trade him or cut him.”
A second-round selection by the New York Jets in the 2013 draft, Smith has played for four teams in eight seasons. The 31-year-old played in four games (three starts) in 2021-22 after Wilson suffered a finger injury. In those four appearances, Smith completed 68.4% of his passes for 702 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. He went 1-2 as a starter.
Smith is 13-21 as a starter in his career, completing 59% of his passes for 6,917 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract this offseason with Seattle.
Lock was part of the blockbuster trade in March that sent Wilson to Denver. The 25-year-old is 8-13 as a starter in three NFL seasons. He has one year left on his rookie deal at $1.45 million, so it makes sense for the Seahawks to find out what they have in Lock. He has 25 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions in 21 starts.
Mayfield — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — has spent four years at the helm in Cleveland, where he led the Browns to a 29-30 record (1-1 in the playoffs). In 2020, he led the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and first postseason win since the 1994-95 season.
Since entering the league, Mayfield ranks 11th in the NFL in passing yards (14,125) and 12th in passing touchdowns (92). He boasts more wins (29) than all other starting Browns quarterbacks since the 2012 season. Mayfield, 27, is looking for a new home in the wake of Cleveland acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans this offseason, shelling out $230 million in the process.
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