The Facts: Smith authored one of the best feel-good stories of 2022 by leading Seattle to a wild-card berth in his first season as the starting quarterback. It appears the Seahawks want that story to continue into next season. Smith, who is set to become a free agent this offseason, is expected to return as the Seahawks starting QB in 2023, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Saturday morning.
Diehards Line:Rapoport adds that the Seahawks are trying to work on a new deal for Smith's return, but if necessary the team also has the option of placing the franchise tag on the veteran. Smith would earn $30 million-plus if given the franchise tag in 2023, which would double what he's made over the course of his nine-year NFL career, according to Rapoport. More than seven years removed from his last season opener as a starting QB, Smith earned the job in Seattle ahead of the 2022 season and supplanted the franchise's leader in just about every passing category imaginable, including wins. The 32-year-old Smith had 4,282 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while leading the league in completion percentage (69.8%). Smith's remarkable comeback season was punctuated with his first Pro Bowl honor after nine years in the NFL.