Geno Smith, Seahawks eyeing reunion, erasing Jimmy Garoppolo potential suitor

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Free-agent Geno eyeing offseason reunion with Seahawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

There’s a good chance the 49ers will be preparing to face Geno Smith at quarterback for their two divisional clashes against the Seattle Seahawks next season.

Following the 49ers' 41-23 win over the Seahawks in the wild-card round Saturday at Levi's Stadium, Smith -- an impending free agent -- expressed his desire to return to Seattle in 2023.

“I want to finish my career in Seattle. I want to be here,” Smith said. “The town, the city, the team, Coach [Pete] Carroll, the organization -- they all embraced me. You know, I was a guy who probably could have been out of the league. They embraced me … at a time when not many people were, and that means a lot to me.

“I got a lot of loyalty in me. And I want to repay those guys for doing that.”

Asked if Smith will return to the Seahawks next season, coach Pete Carroll responded, "I hope so."

Smith, who was the New York Jets' starting quarterback for two seasons to begin his career in 2013 and '14, started just five games the next six seasons. Once the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in March, Smith entered the 2022 NFL season in a battle with Drew Lock to secure the starting job, a role he won and never conceded.

Smith had been the Seahawks' backup quarterback behind Wilson the previous two seasons.

"It’s a great story,” Carroll said. “It’s a great story for a lot of players in other sports. Wherever you want to go, if you keep hanging in there and you believe in yourself and you don’t let the messaging outside of you affect who you are and what you are, you’ll find your best. And I think Geno’s found his best and he’s ready to come back and go again. I thought he just had an unbelievably great season for us."

“It’s very exciting when you get to see a person go from backup quarterback to stepping in and being a starter and then just making leaps and bounds in one year,” receiver DK Metcalf said. “I could tell he was focused from the offseason. We talked every day. He would text me every night, just checking on me. So I can tell he’s ready, you know, to lead this team and to be back next year.”

RELATED: Seahawks express salty regret after loss to 49ers: 'We had it'

The Seahawks were one of the teams rumored to be a suitor for 49ers veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last offseason when San Francisco was trying to find a trade partner. The 49ers, however, reportedly were concerned about trading Garoppolo to a division rival or cutting him and watching the Seahawks scoop him off waivers, and restructured his contract to be the backup behind Trey Lance.

Smith won the Seahawks' starting job and improbably led a team expected to occupy the NFC West cellar into the playoff bracket.

With Smith and the Seahawks both eyeing a reunion next season, the chances Garoppolo winds up in Seattle are slim to none. But there should be plenty of new landing spots for the 31-year-old veteran heads into an offseason expected to feature a wild quarterback carousel.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.