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Monday Round-Up: Geno Smith Expresses Gratitude To 12s Via The Players' Tribune

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith wrote a letter to Seahawks fans in The Players’ Tribune.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, April 3 — about your Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith Pens Players' Tribune Article To Express Gratitude To 12s

Both local and national writers spent the 2022 season chronicling Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith's historic 10th season, his first as a starter since 2014. The 2022 AP Comeback Player of the Year still hasn't written back to those that wrote him off, but he did join The Players’ Tribune to write the Seahawks fans who have supported him since he arrived in Seattle in 2019.

The fourth landing spot in Smith's career has proven to be his best, as he's made Seattle's front office look like geniuses following the trade of former quarterback Russell Wilson. After filling in for Wilson in five contests in 2021, Smith led the NFL in completion percentage (69.8) while throwing for a career-high 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2022. Smith starts off his letter to the 12s by speaking on the importance of Seattle, and why he's come to embrace the team and the city so much.

"I didn't arrive in Seattle last season," said Smith. "I think people forget that about me. I've been here for a minute — and my relationship with this city actually goes back all the way to five years ago, when I was taking free agent visits after leaving the Giants. My favorite visit I took by far was with the Seahawks."

Building a football team is about finding the right fits, and the West Virginia alum just wasn't the right piece to the puzzle in the eyes of his former teams. The 2013 second-round selection of the New York Jets started 30 games in his first two seasons before playing just three contests in his last two seasons of his rookie contract. In 2017, Smith signed with the New York Giants. Smith made history as the first black quarterback to start a game for the franchise.

The 2018 offseason saw Smith back in free agency, looking for the right time to believe in his talents. After talking to several teams including the Seahawks, Smith signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. Smith's luck seemingly wouldn't get better, playing five games, but throwing just four passes.

"I ended up signing with the Chargers that offseason," said Smith. "Because it seemed like an opportunity to start. But the Seahawks really made an impression on me. And when things didn't work out in L.A., my first thought was that Seattle could be a great fit. I was right. And I'm not just saying that since I've had some success here now. Even when Russ was QB1, I felt like I belonged on the Seahawks. Because they let me be myself. No one made me feel like I had to act a certain way as the backup, or be less of a competitor — just a good teammate and someone who works like hell. They made me feel like my job wasn't to back up Russ, it was to push Russ. And I took that job seriously. I wasn't only staying ready. I was getting better."

Seattle's trade of Wilson prompted plenty of questions about the quarterback position - which Smith answered in the Seahawks' 17-16 opener win over Wilson and the Denver Broncos. From there, Smith etched his name in the franchise record books.) while leading the 9-8 Seahawks to an NFC Wild Card appearance. In the process, Smith defeated all-three of his former teams and earned his first Pro Bowl nod.

Seattle signed Smith to a three-year extension this offseason, finally giving the Florida native an NFL home to call his own. The heartfelt letter is Smith summing up what kept him going leading up to and throughout his storybook year—and what motivates him going forward.

"And that's the energy I'm trying to take with me into next season," said Smith. "I really don't know what the future holds — but I know I control my own destiny again. And I know I didn't make it this far just to lose. I want to WIN, and I want to live up to the legacies of the great Seahawks players who paved the way here: Russ, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Walter Jones, Shaun Alexander, Warren Moon, all those guys. Maybe even more than that, I want to be an example for anyone who might've gotten knocked down from their goals. Not even just in the NFL, but in life — anyone who might be feeling like a disappointment, or who might be getting pegged as someone who can't achieve certain things. Maybe they can look at me and say, Geno ... he kept grinding. He kept believing in himself. And eventually he found a city that believes in him back."

The 32-year-old quarterback has all the reason to gloat on himself for the hard work he's put in to get to this point, but his humility and heart instead led to Smith writing a thank-you note to every 12 across the globe that kept Smith going. Read Smith's entire letter here.


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