Coming into the 2022 NFL season, many expected the Seattle Seahawks to miss the playoffs after they traded franchise quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos during the offseason.
It wasn’t even clear who would take over under center, as some thought they had penciled in Drew Lock, whom they had acquired in the Wilson trade, only to give the job to veteran Geno Smith.
But Smith played very well and the Seahawks unexpectedly made the playoffs, and the natural question is whether they can duplicate that effort next season.
On Tuesday, they took a step forward toward another playoff appearance by giving offensive lineman Phil Haynes a contract extension.
Locking up the line. 🔒
We've signed @PhilHaynes95 to a one-year contract extension.
📰: https://t.co/fzFL1Qcd0Q pic.twitter.com/UVl1wnjzzh
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) February 21, 2023
Prior to 2022, Haynes had only played in seven games in three seasons, but this year, he blossomed, as he appeared in 15 contests.
He played a role in Smith having the type of season few imagined he was ever capable of.
In his first eight seasons, the QB was mostly a backup, but in 2022 he had the season of his life with 4,282 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes on a league-high 69.8 percent completion rate.
As a result, he earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Smith will turn 33 years of age next season, so perhaps the odds of him having another season like that aren’t too great, but at least he has proven to himself and everyone else that he is capable of taking a team to the playoffs as its QB1.
But doing so again will be difficult, as the San Francisco 49ers are a force to be reckoned with and the Los Angeles Rams may bounce back and return to the postseason.NEXT: Geno Smith Is Working Out With A WR Draft Prospect