Geno Smith's career revival was one of the best stories of the 2022 NFL season. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback won NFL Comeback Player of the Year and earned himself a three-year contract worth $75 million.
Not only did Smith emerge as one of the game's top signal-callers, but he also emerged as a leader in a lot of people's eyes. According to Smith himself, however, his leadership qualities don’t coincide with his emergence as a starter.
“Leadership doesn’t have a title. You’re either a leader or you’re not. Leadership, to me, it’s something I’ve been about my whole life. I just continued to do the same things, I haven’t changed anything,” Smith told Sports Illustrated. “I’m working the same way, got the same process, same lifting schedule, and I’m gonna lead these guys the same way. And obviously there is a difference. I’m not naive. Guys will look at it different. But I think if they see you being the same guy all the time, they respect it a lot more.”
Entering his 11th season in the league and 5th with the Seahawks, Smith isn't letting his new popularity and contract get in the way of what got him to this point. He's long been a respected guy within NFL locker rooms and it's easy to see why with the way he carries himself.
The Seahawks and their fans couldn’t have imagined a way back to prominence as quickly as they did following the trade of Russell Wilson. Yet 16 months after the move, the Seahawks and Geno Smith are in a better spot than the Denver Broncos are with Wilson.