Commanders’ QB Sam Howell Named Trade Fit for 2 AFC Teams

Sam Howell

Getty Washington Commanders' QB Sam Howell looks like a smart trade fit for two AFC teams.

He’s not going to remain the starting quarterback for the Washington Commanders, but Sam Howell still has value as a trade commodity. Howell has been named a trade fit for two AFC teams, the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The idea of Howell being available for the Jets is something’s Connor Hughes loves: “I love the idea of this, assuming he’s available. The Commanders could easily keep him as the backup. It’s not like this is a Sam Darnold, Justin Fields situation. If available, though, I’d prioritize him over anyone else.”

Howell makes sense for the Jets on multiple levels, but he’d also suit the Steelers. As the Draft Network’s Justin Melo put it, Howell would provide strong competition for starter Kenny Pickett: “Howell’s competitive attitude makes him an ideal candidate to push Pickett in training camp.”

Dealing Howell would be risky for the Commanders, since veteran backup Jacoby Brissett is a free agent, and a return to the AFC North has already been suggested. Yet, moving Howell on for some draft compensation would give new general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn more resources to rebuild the roster.

It would also mean creating a clean break at football’s most important position. Leaving a clear path for the potential franchise quarterback the Commanders are likely to select second overall in the 2024 NFL draft.

Sam Howell a Cost-Effective Option for Jets

Perhaps the best thing to recommend Howell to the Jets is “a cap hit under $1 million each of the next two years,” per Hughes. While the finances are important to owner Woody Johnson, Hughes did note how Howell has fans with the AFC East franchise: “there are those in the Jets building who believe he can play, too.”

Howell would fit as a competent backup to Aaron Rodgers. Provided the 40-year-old makes a full recovery from the torn Achilles that wrecked his season in Week 1.

Rodgers’ age and durability make acquiring a capable deputy a priority for the Jets. Howell fits the bill after showing a flair for making “big-time throws,” per PFF Commanders.

Genuine big-play capability makes Howell a better option than Jets’ incumbent Zach Wilson. The latter is also a candidate for trade, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.

Replacing Wilson with Howell would be a good deal for the Jets, but No. 14’s arm strength should also appeal to the Steelers.

Steelers Can Make Room for Bargain Sam Howell Trade

The Steelers have need for Howell after dumping Mitch Trubisky, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Trubisky’s exit makes room for Howell. Peters would need to be open to trading Howell, but Melo thinks “he may be willing to part with him for a day-three pick.”

A late-round selection might not rate as ample compensation for a player who was designated QB1 this season. Howell hardly had the chance to make the role his own, though.

The pass-heavy offense called by former coordinator Eric Bieniemy did an inexperienced signal-caller few favors. So did an offensive line that allowed 65 sacks.

Howell became turnover-happy and was eventually sent to the bench. His struggles were indicative of the misuse of talent common under Quinn’s predecessor Ron Rivera.

It’s up to Peters, Quinn and new OC Kliff Kingsbury to ensure a quick and successful rebuild with a new QB1.

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