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Pete Carroll says Geno Smith's deal won't preclude Seahawks from drafting QB with No. 5 pick

The Seattle Seahawks locked down starting quarterback Geno Smith this week with a three-year contract worth up to $105 million.

The deal, however, doesn't change the reality that the Seahawks could draft a quarterback with the No. 5 overall pick they received from Denver in the Russell Wilson deal.

Head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that truth Tuesday on the Brock and Salk show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

"That opportunity is absolutely there," Carroll said of possibly drafting a rookie QB, via the team's official website. "We can do whatever we need to do, which is a whole other discussion that's really exciting. The coaches are working at it, and the scouts are working at it to try to position this thing -- when you're at five, this is different than what we're used to seeing. This is really fun, because you can pretty much predict what's going to happen with four different choices, so which one is it?"

The structure of Smith's deal also suggests the Seahawks won't shy away from drafting a QB high. NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that the contract has a base value of $25 million per season with $40 million fully guaranteed. Smith earns $28 million in the first year, and the deal carries a total of $30 million in incentives. Translation: It's a nice payday for Geno that the Seahawks can get out of after one year and easily after two.

With Seattle not planning to draft this high in the short term, snagging its future franchise QB in 2023 and allowing him to grow behind Smith for a year could be a savvy move. Someone like NFL Scouting Combine star Anthony Richardson could fit that timeline with a very high upside.

The franchise that famously paid Matt Flynn back in 2012 and immediately supplanted him with a third-round rookie in Wilson won't flinch at potential QB drama. It'd simply be smart business.

At the very least, the Seahawks are wise to make other teams believe they're still in the market for a QB. Get potential QB-needy teams like Carolina, Atlanta or Las Vegas to think they have to trade up for a signal-caller, thereby pushing more talent down the board or setting up their own trade-back scenario.

Regardless of how the draft unfolds, Carroll believes Seattle has a stable signal-caller in Smith with whom he can win a Super Bowl.

"Heck yeah we can," Carroll said. "He's going to do his part. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of stuff to get done, we have a lot of decisions to make, this extraordinary draft coming up has been ongoing too."

With Smith's deal done, Seattle can now focus its free-agent efforts on fixing a defense that collapsed far too often in 2022.

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