Commanders Can Replace Sam Howell With Polarizing $242 Million QB in 2024

Sam Howell

Getty The Washington Commanders can replace Sam Howell with a $242-million QB expected to be cut in March.

Finding a replacement for Sam Howell will dominate the offseason for the Washington Commanders. What the franchise needs is to finally install a proven, marquee quarterback, somebody like Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson.

The Commanders are a good landing spot for the nine-time Pro Bowler, according to Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports. He noted how “Wilson has ties to the area; he grew up in Virginia, hours from the team’s facilities.”

Benjamin did caution that “drafting one early feels far more likely,” but Wilson represents an intriguing solution to Washington’s longstanding QB dilemma. He’s bottomed out since signing a contract worth $242.5 million with the Denver Broncos in 2022, but there are reasons to believe Wilson can get back on track.

Reasons like the Broncos rarely playing to his strengths. Those strengths include throwing deep on bootleg and play-action passes.

Wilson would surely have more freedom in a Commanders’ offense called by coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The 35-year-old signal-caller would also have better weapons at his disposal.

Commanders Have the Right Framework for Russell Wilson

It’s safe to assume Bieniemy will outlast head coach Ron Rivera, so the Commanders would be wise to equip the OC with an established QB1. Wilson still counts, despite the Broncos planning to release him less than two years after a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

The veteran revealed how an injury guarantee in his contract led to his demise in Denver, per The 33rd Team. He’ll ride the bench for the next two weeks, but Wilson expects to be cut in March, according to Dianna Russini of The Athletic.

A quarterback with Wilson’s pedigree hitting the open market is too good an opportunity for the Commanders to ignore. Especially since the Commanders have the right framework to help Wilson rediscover his pre-Broncos form.

Bieniemy’s expansive system and experience working with mobile quarterbacks like Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes as play-caller for the Kansas City Chiefs would suit Wilson. So would the presence of wide receivers as capable as Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, along with running back Brian Robinson Jr.

The Commanders have the supporting cast Wilson needs to excel, provided Bieniemy lets him play the way he did when he won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks following the 2013 season.

That would mean more play-action passing, something the Broncos used effectively at times this season. Wilson’s recent success in the play-action game was highlighted by NFL Films producer Greg Cosell.

Letting Wilson play to his strengths would be a good example to Howell, who still has value for the Commanders.

Sam Howell Can Still Have a Future With Commanders

Howell’s time with the Commanders might not be done, despite him being benched in favor of Jacoby Brissett. The latter’s hamstring injury puts Howell back in play as a starter immediately, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Getting two more games as starter would give Howell the chance to prove he still has value for the Commanders beyond being a trade chip. He should, so long as more is done to incorporate his dual-threat skills into the offense.

Wilson would be an excellent object lesson for Howell. The 5-foot-11 passer needs rollouts and bootlegs to escape pressure and create viable throwing lanes.

Howell, all 6-foot-1 of him, has been sacked 60 times and struggled to find many clear passing lanes. An offense designed around Wilson and practiced by Howell would benefit the latter a year or two from now.

It would also mean Commanders’ ownership gets at least a year with a marketable star playing football’s most important position. Owner Josh Harris needn’t worry about Wilson’s next contract. Not when projects the Commanders having $90.9 million under the salary cap, enough to solve the QB problem.

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