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Geno Smith: I’m a starter, I just need another opportunity

The Seahawks, Packers and Ravens all lost key players during the offseason. Which teams will be able to survive without their former stars?

In Seattle, Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch are in a competition. The winner gets not a Water Pik but a job as Russell Wilson’s understudy. The loser gets fired.

Smith wants neither. In his mind, the 2013 second-round pick of the Jets remains an NFL-caliber starting quarterback.

“I got a lot of confidence in myself,” Smith told reporters on Friday. “I know that I can do a lot of things on the field, I believe that I am a starter, I just need another opportunity.”

The looming preseason games will likely go a very long way toward determining whether Smith, who has 31 career starts, will secure the ability to be the backup to Wilson, or whether that job will go to the 2016 first-round pick in Denver who has found that Seattle has a much better feel.

“It feels closer, it feels like a family,” Lynch told reporters on Friday. “I bring my fianceé out here, I bring my dad out here and they even say it too, they feel so much more welcome around everybody. They’re so good to them, they treat them so good, they treat the players good so, it feels good, it feels like you’re a part of the family. It feels like everybody’s close.”

It won’t feel that way in four weeks, when the roster drops from 90 to 53 and presumably drops Smith or Lynch. Given the XFL’s plans to target third-string quarterbacks who are cut from NFL teams before Week One (and XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck’s admission that they are specifically watching the Smith-Lynch battle), the Seahawks could decide to keep both, especially if the competition is close. For both, however, the XFL may be the only opportunity to ever be dubbed a starter again.