BY Art Thiel 04:46PM 05/13/2019

Seahawks add Geno Smith to backup QB mix

Once a two-season starter with the Jets, QB Geno Smith is expected to sign with the Seahawks Wednesday to compete with Paxton Lynch to back up Russell Wilson.

Former Jets QB Geno Smith is expected to join the Seahawks Wednesday. /

It would be harsh to say the Seahawks are becoming a home for high-promise, low-delivery young quarterbacks. But, well . . . Geno Smith.

A second-round pick (39th overall) of the New York Jets in 2013, Smith, 28, joins Paxton Lynch, 25, a first-round pick (26th overall) of the Denver Broncos in 2015, to compete for the understudy job behind QB Russell Wilson, who seems as hard to bring down as Marvel films villain Thanos.

Then again, a snap of the fingers . . .

Smith (6-3, 221 pounds) was expected to visit Seattle Wednesday and sign a contract, according to The Seahawks’ rookie camp provided no plausible candidates to compete ahead of mini-camp; they waived Taryn Christion of South Dakota Monday to presumably make room for Smith.

Smith had a rocky tenure with the Jets, who started him 30 times in his first two seasons. His rookie year he threw 21 interceptions, including five pick-sixes, for an 8-8 team. But by the final game of his second season, he had what passes for a perfect passing game in the NFL: A 158.3 rating thanks to 358 yards, three TDs and no picks.

His third season was thwarted by a teammate’s sucker punch in the preseason that broke Smith’s jaw,  a result of a dispute over $600. Smith played in one game. Then new coach Todd Bowles had settled on Ryan Fitzpatrick as starter, and Smith left after his fourth season.

In 2017, he signed with the New York Giants as a backup to Eli Manning, and in 2018 with the Los Angeles Chargers as a backup to Philip Rivers. He played little either place, although he looked good in a preseason game in August against the Seahawks, completing six of eight passes for 85 yards and TD, plus two runs for 14 yards, in the Chargers’ 24-14 win.

For his career, he has 29 touchdown passes, 36 interceptions and 6,182 yards. He also has 661 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 147 carries.


  • jafabian

    Always compete I suppose. I was hoping the team would draft a QB. Too bad Alex Mcgough couldn’t be kept.

    • art thiel

      After the Boykin experiment, they may be a little gunshy with another kid at such an emergency position.

      • jafabian

        Hopefully no one will get to where Geno owes them any money!

        • art thiel

          I’m thinking Geno is honoring his invoices well ahead of 90 days.

  • wabubba67

    I actually like this move quite a bit. It’s a no risk/high reward signing that ensures that Pete will get the best from both Lynch and Smith during training camp. Both are veterans in case the unthinkable occurs with Wilson.

    • art thiel

      Smith had a number of solid games in his first two years with the Jets, and I doubt his skills have eroded. He’s also a better runner than Paxton (I almost wrote Lynch, but it just didn’t feel right).

      • wabubba67

        I mainly agree with you, Art. Smith is more mobikm and I like him a bit more. However, I have seen Paxton”s (Lynch’s) arm strength once in awhile. He makes some laser beam throws in traffic that are very intriguing if a coaching staff believes that they could get that from him on a regular basis.

        • art thiel

          Tarvaris Jackson did enough things well to be an asset in his time here.

  • Steed

    Geno is the guy who was unable to look away from his phone during pre draft interviews. Not very smart. Not a good QB either. He is a “camp arm” at best.

    • art thiel

      I believe that was six years ago, and he may have learned things. You can’t ring up a 158.3 game as NFL QB and be dumb.