2022 record: 9-8, second NFC West
Playoff picture: Seattle might have a shot at another postseason berth, but do the Seahawks have a shot at winning the NFC West? If the 49ers stand in the way, note Seattle went 0-3 against San Francisco last season, including a playoff loss.
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Biggest Week 1 question: Quarterback Geno Smith enters the season secure as a starter after being in prove-it mode last season. His performance (4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns) earned him a three-year, $75 million deal. Smith is the Seahawks‘ leader after being a draft bust earlier in his career with the New York Jets.
What’s new: Linebacker Bobby Wagner is back after one season with the Los Angeles Rams. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler in 10 seasons in Seattle. Cornerback Devon Witherspoon was picked in the first round (fifth overall) with one of the picks the Seahawks got from the Denver Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade, and head coach Pete Carroll drew immediate comparisons to Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu. Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba was selected 20th overall, but is recovering from a broken wrist. Safety Julian Love, linebacker Devin Bush and defensive linemen Dre’Mont Jones were among Seattle’s free-agent signees.
They’re gone: Former first-round pick Rashaad Penny and fellow running back Travis Homer moved on, but the backfield could be OK after the Seahawks snagged Zach Charbonnet in the second round to team with holdover Kenneth Walker III. Linebacker Cody Barton (136 tackles) also departed but Seattle welcomed back Bobby Wagner.
On the money: Who knew Seattle could have a better team by trading Wilson and elevating Smith. Safety Jamal Adams played in just one game in 2022 due to a torn quadriceps tendon and the three-time Pro Bowler is looking for better fortune this season, but won’t be available Week 1. Adding Smith-Njigba gives Smith another weapon in addition to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Charbonnet could quickly become a key complement to Walker, who was a force as a rookie.
Get to know: Witherspoon is projected to be an eventual stud in the secondary but he didn’t get on the field in the preseason. Witherspoon injured a hamstring and it isn’t clear if he will be ready for the opener.
Seattle grabbed him early in the draft due to his strong skillset and solid athleticism. He may have to be broken in slowly due to the injury but might be a starter by midseason. Witherspoon had three interceptions last season while earning consensus All-American honors at Illinois.
Vegas says: BetMGM set the Seahawks at 8.5 wins (-150).
—FIeld Level Media