Geno Smith has beaten out Drew Lock for the Seattle Seahawks' starting quarterback job.
"He's going to start the opener," head coach Pete Carroll told reporters. "He's earned it. He won the job."
Lock, 25, spent his first three years in Denver. In 24 games (21 starts) over three years, he completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 25 touchdowns (20 interceptions) and 6.7 yards per pass attempt. He arrived in Seattle through the Wilson trade.
Smith, 31, has played for the New York Jets, New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers and Seahawks over a nine-year NFL career. He's been the Seahawks' backup each of the last two years. In 45 career games (34 starts), he has completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 34 touchdowns (37 interceptions) and 6.9 yards per pass attempt.
"You know it means a lot, it's something that I've been preparing for, and the reality is that it's just step one, it's just the beginning and I've got to make sure that I'm ready to go out there and win and play 17 games and more," Smith said, per Grant Gordon of NFL.com. "So for me, I'm grateful, thankful, forever indebted to the Seattle Seahawks organization, but it's time to get to work."
Smith had the edge during the preseason, as Carroll noted on Aug. 9:
He praised both quarterbacks after the team's 32-25 preseason-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Both quarterbacks were efficient," Carroll said, per Ryan Decker of wboy.com. "Geno could’ve been 10-for-10. He had two drops, and Noah (Fant) has to stay in bounds on a ball on the sidelines and he hits them all. And we moved the ball pretty well with Drew also."
Smith started and went 10-of-15 for 101 yards before making way for Lock, who went 11-of-15 for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Lock notably worked with the 1s at training camp on Aug. 16:
Smith went 10-of-18 for 112 yards in a 27-11 loss to Chicago. Jacob Eason played the rest of the game and went 17-of-35 for 141 yards.
Lock returned to the team on Aug. 21, and Carroll told reporters that he would play "a lot" against the Dallas Cowboys in the preseason finale.
In the end, Smith won the competition and now has big shoes to fill.
Russell Wilson is gone after 10 years as Seattle's starter. He won one Super Bowl and two NFC titles en route to guiding the Seahawks to the playoffs seven times. In addition, he made nine Pro Bowls.
Wilson is now a Denver Bronco after the Seahawks traded him for a package of picks and players.
For the first time since 2011, another quarterback will be leading the Seahawks. At least Smith will have a capable offense with wideouts DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and running backs Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker III.