The Facts: The Seahawks' season didn't finish how Smith envisioned, but the quarterback does have an optimistic view of his future with the team. "I want to finish my career in Seattle," Smith told reporters following his team's 41-23 wild-card loss to the 49ers on Saturday. "I want to be here. The town, the city, the team, coach [Pete] Carroll, the organization, they all embraced me. I was a guy who probably could've been out of the league. They embraced me. And I want to repay them for that."
Diehards Line: Smith, who enjoyed a surprise breakout this season at the age of 32 with a franchise-record 4,282 passing yards, stood strong again in his first-ever playoff start. Although he had a costly fumble that ended a promising third-quarter drive and also threw a pick, he was a clear leader on offense with 253 yards and two TD throws. His story ultimately fell short, but his performance Saturday backed up the year he had, and his coach backed up his desire to keep building something. "Geno's the real deal," Carroll told reporters after the game. "He can do all of the things that a terrific quarterback does. ..." When asked in a follow up if Smith would be back, Carroll kept it simple: "I hope so." NFL Network reported Saturday morning that the pending free-agent Smith is expected to return in 2023 -- be it on the franchise tag or with a longer contract -- and everything the coach and quarterback said following their season's end confirms the reunion is in the works.