Commanders Trade QB Sam Howell, Move Up in 2024 Draft: Report

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders, Seattle Seahawks

Getty Sam Howell makes a pass.

The Washington Commanders are sending former starting quarterback Sam Howell to the Seattle Seahawks, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Washington will receive a third and fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Seattle will receive Howell and a fourth and sixth-round pick.

Moving Howell was an expectation coming into the offseason. The Commanders are looking to draft a quarterback with the No. 2 pick and this all but confirms they’ll do that.

Howell will look to compete for the backup job with the Seahawks after throwing for 3,946 yards and 21 touchdowns as the Commanders starter in 2023. The 23-year-old has shown promise at times, but the 21 interceptions were a call for concern. Now, he gets a fresh start and an opportunity to learn from Geno Smith.

Smart Decision to Trade Howell

There’s potential there for Howell and that even could’ve been with the Washington Commanders in the future. However, the No. 2 pick in a draft class that’s believed to have star talent is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

The 23-year-old led the league in passing for much of the season and looked to potentially be the quarterback of the future. While the turnovers were an issue, other aspects of his game are above average.

With the Commanders adding Marcus Mariota this offseason, the path for Howell to stay in Washington simply wasn’t there.

He likely falls into the same issue he would’ve with the Commanders, backing up Smith. The 33-year-old Smith won the starting job two seasons ago and hasn’t looked back, throwing for over 3,600 yards in both seasons.

Rebuilding in the draft will be part of the Commanders’ plan and with another two picks to do that, this offseason continues to be an impressive one for the franchise. Getting picks for someone who wasn’t a part of the long term future, especially a third-round pick, is a positive.

Commanders No. 2 Pick Rumors

The belief around the NFL is the Washington Commanders will draft Jayden Daniels with the No. 2 pick. Daniels could learn from a veteran in Mariota who both have similarities in their game. He’s a mobile quarterback, former Heisman winner, and has been in the league since 2015. There weren’t many better options for the Commanders around.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network believes the decision to sign Mariota was one that could’ve given away the Commanders’ draft plans.

“NFL teams often prefer to roster backup quarterbacks that match the play style of their starting quarterback. If a club’s QB1 is a pocket passer, it probably makes sense for that team to have a No. 2 signal-caller who works well within structure.

“Mariota won the Heisman Trophy as a dual-threat quarterback at the University of Oregon. He spent last season backing up Jalen Hurts, another mobile QB, with the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Factor in Kliff Kingsbury historically working with mobile quarterbacks and drafting Daniels makes even more sense.

Kingsbury has worked with Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Caleb Williams, and others in his coaching career. If Kingsbury can help develop Daniels into that type of player, the Commanders’ future is a bright one.

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