Sam Howell Next to ‘Step Away’ from Seahawks?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith on Thursday dismissed rumors that he will be competing for his starting job with former Washington Commanders signal-caller Sam Howell this fall.

Smith earned a second consecutive Pro Bowl nod last season in his second campaign as the Seahawks’ starter, during which he threw for 3,624 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

 

Howell most recently threw for 21 touchdowns and 21 interceptions through 17 starts in an up-and-down second season with Washington. He, like Smith, is signed through the 2025 season.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider brought up Howell when asked Tuesday about the team’s future plans at the quarterback position.

“I can’t tell you what our long-term plan is because I honestly don’t know, but Sam is a huge part of it because we made a major trade to get Sam before we got here,” Schneider said, per Seahawks.com’s John Boyle.

That doesn’t mean that Howell will get any starts this fall if Smith is available, however. Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald confirmed in March that Smith will be Seattle’s starter:

Last season Smith played in front of Drew Lock, who struggled in two appearances made in relief. The Seahawks now seem to be hoping they’ve found a more reliable backup in Howell.

Sam Howell is not in the Washington Commanders’ future plans, but he may be in those of an NFC West team if he can prove himself.

The Commanders have traded a 2024 fourth-round and sixth-round pick as well as Howell to the Seattle Seahawks as part of a pick swap. Washington will receive third-round and fifth-round picks in the deal, and send Seattle fourth-round and sixth-round selections.

The Commanders, led by new owner Josh Harris, have embarked upon a radical makeover this offseason. Not only have they hired a new general manager and coaching staff, but they’ve brought 12 outside free agents into the building. Their league-high cap space has allowed them to secure an abundance of players who fit either Dan Quinn’s defensive system or Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive scheme, providing a good foundation for the year ahead.

The Seahawks nearly made the playoffs in 2023 because their former backup quarterback, Drew Lock, orchestrated a huge 20-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15.

With Geno Smith set as the team’s 2024 starter, Lock decided to leave Seattle for the New York Giants, creating an opening behind Smith in the position room. Landing Howell gives new head coach Mike Macdonald a low-cost option with some upside as his No. 2 signal-caller.

Seattle has made only one notable addition in free agency, luring safety Rayshawn Jenkins to the Pacific Northwest on a two-year, $12 million contract.

The team’s biggest moves, to this point, are the retention of both defensive end Leonard Williams on a three-year pact worth $64.5 million, and tight end Noah Fant via a two-year, $21 million deal.

he Washington Commanders benched quarterback Sam Howell midway through the fourth quarter in their Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

On first-and-10 from its 25-yard line, Howell, who was under pressure, rolled to his right and looked downfield to wide receiver Terry McLaurin. However, the ball was off target, and McLaurin got one hand on it, but it bounced into the waiting arms of a Rams defensive back.

It was Howell’s first turnover of the day. After the play, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy spoke with Howell, and when the Washington offense took the field next, Jacoby Brissett was at quarterback.

With a new left tackle (Cornelius Lucas) and center (Nick Gates), Brissett promptly led the Commanders down the field and found McLaurin for a touchdown.

While we’ll have to wait until after the game to receive word on Howell’s status, this appeared to be more of Washington’s coaches just sitting Howell for the game’s duration than an outright benching.

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