SEATTLE — Ahead of the official National Football League (NFL) awards ceremony in two weeks, a group of football writers have recognized Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith as the league's Comeback Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player in 2022.
The Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced Smith's awards on Friday for his resurgence in his 10th NFL season. It is just the third time a player has won the Comeback Player of the Year and Most Improved Player in the same season. Smith joined Ryan Tannehill (2019) and Jon Kitna (2003) for the rare distinction.
Smith replaced longtime franchise quarterback Russell Wilson in 2022, leading the Seahawks to nine wins and a playoff spot in the National Football Conference (NFC). The 32-year-old set franchise records in passing yards (4,282), completions (399) and led the NFL with a 69.8% completion percentage.
The veteran journeyman had spent five seasons with three different teams before finding a home in Seattle in 2020. The second-round draft pick was a backup quarterback for six consecutive seasons until Wilson's trade to the Denver Broncos opened up the potential role. Smith beat out Drew Lock for the starting quarterback job in training camp, earning his first Pro Bowl nod of his career.
With his career year in the books, Smith is looking to cash in on a multi-year contract worth upwards of $40 million per year. As things stand, the Seahawks appear committed to bring Smith back as its quarterback in the upcoming season.
Smith is a finalist for the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award, which will be announced at NFL Honors on Feb. 9.