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The Seattle Seahawks have their guy for Week 1, and it’s Geno Smith.
For the first time since 2011, someone not named Russell Wilson will be the No. 1 quarterback for the Seahawks, as Seattle traded him in the offseason to the Denver Broncos.
“He’s earned it. He won the job,” Pete Carroll told reporters Friday, via ESPN.
Smith backed up Wilson and played in four games due to injuries to the nine-time Pro Bowler, and performed well. In his four games, he completed 65 of his 95 passes (68.4 percent) for 702 yards and five touchdowns, throwing just one interception. He also had nine carries for 42 yards and a touchdown, playing to a 103.0 rating.
Smith, who has been in the league since 2013, was forever the favorite to land the gig over Drew Lock, who the Seahawks acquired, along with Noah Fant and three first-round picks, in the Wilson trade.
“We really put [Smith] up against the competition, and Drew took his shot at him all the way throughout…” Carroll said. “But Geno, he knows our stuff and he does really well and he understands it and he can manage everything that we’re doing and he’s good about the football. He’ll give us the best chance to play great football right off the bat.”
Lock also lost the Broncos’ QB competition last year, as Teddy Bridgewater won the QB1 spot.
Smith was a second-round pick almost a decade ago by the New York Jets out of West Virginia, and never lived up to his draft stock. After a teammate broke his jaw with a punch in 2015, he was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led Gang Green to a 10-6 record but narrowly missed a playoff appearance that season.
Smith spent a season as Eli Manning’s backup with the New York Giants (before inexplicably starting one game and ending Manning’s Iron Man streak), and spent the 2018 season with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Smith is 13-21 as a starter. In 45 career games, he owns a 58.8 completion percentage, 34 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions.