'We don't get this opportunity often' – Carroll and Seahawks open to early QB pick
The Seattle Seahawks are considering drafting a new quarterback despite ongoing contract negotiations with Geno Smith.
Last year's blockbuster trade that sent Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos has left the Seahawks with strong draft capital, the franchise possessing the fifth overall pick and the 20th selection for April's draft.
It leaves Seattle in relatively unchartered territory, having only two top-10 picks since 2010 – the first being the sixth pick in 2010 after the previous regime went 5-11.
In the 2022 draft, the Seahawks had pick number 10 but traded to the Jets for Jamal Adams, leaving 2023 as the first time in 13 years that the team will be among the first names on the board.
Despite being settled with Smith, who is negotiating a new contract, head coach Pete Carroll is aware this provides a rare opportunity to select a QB.
"We don't get this opportunity [often]. When you're picking in the bottom of the first round, those guys aren't available," Carroll told reporters.
General manager John Schneider further explained why a move for a QB was on the cards, despite it being a rarity for him – having selected players in this position just twice in 13 drafts with Seattle.
"Because they don’t grow on trees. It's the hardest position to acquire a talent, a guy that everybody feels very confident in," Schneider said.
Discussions with Smith regarding a new deal are continuing and, while Schneider was positive on the situation, he did not give a timeframe on when a fresh contract with last year's NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
"All these negotiations, some go a little bit faster than others. Usually when you're talking about larger numbers, they take a little more time," he added.
"It's obviously much more complex than different sports with guaranteed contracts, so there's a lot more that goes into these contracts."
Asked whether they would consider a franchise tag for Smith, Schneider replied: "That's not something I would share with you."