Sam Howell trade grades: Seahawks acquire QB from Commanders in 2024 NFL free agency

Seahawks Secure Quarterback Sam Howell from Commanders in Strategic 2024 NFL Free Agency Move: Trade Grades Revealed

Just a few hours after the Atlanta Falcons made headlines by trading Desmond Ridder to the Arizona Cardinals, another significant quarterback trade was confirmed. This time, the Washington Commanders have agreed to send Sam Howell to the Seattle Seahawks. This news was brought to light by CBS Sports’ top NFL insider, Jonathan Jones.

In this deal, the Seahawks will gain not only Howell but also a fourth-round pick (No. 102 overall) and a sixth-round pick (No. 179) for the year 2024. In return, the Commanders will receive a third-round pick (No. 78) and a fifth-round pick (No. 152) from the Seahawks. According to Drafttek’s trade value chart, the Seahawks essentially gave up what amounts to an early fourth-round pick for this trade.

Sam Howell, who was originally picked in the fifth round from North Carolina, played only one game in his rookie year. He started in the final game of the season for the Commanders. Despite this limited exposure, Howell received strong backing from then-Commanders coach Ron Rivera as they entered the offseason. Howell was the primary quarterback for most of 2023, attempting a league-high 613 passes. However, his record was 4-13, with an equal number of touchdowns and interceptions (21 each).

Looking ahead to 2024, Howell is expected to compete with Geno Smith for the starting quarterback position at the Seahawks. This comes after Seattle lost their veteran backup, Drew Lock, to the New York Giants during free agency. Despite Smith signing a new deal with the Seahawks after a standout season, his performance saw a decline in 2023, and the team did not make the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Commanders are likely looking to bring in a new quarterback, holding the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 draft.

Instant grades for the trade are as follows:

For the Commanders, the grade is A-. Howell showed promise and could have been a reliable backup option. However, with plans to secure a high-value quarterback in the draft, trading Howell for roughly the value of a fourth-round pick makes sense. This move allows them to explore options like Marcus Mariota or other veterans to fill the quarterback role.

The Seahawks receive a B grade. Adding Howell provides them with a potential high-upside option to challenge or back up Smith. While Howell could turn out to be a valuable asset, similar to Drew Lock’s performances off the bench, this trade is seen as a cautious step rather than a bold move to solidify their quarterback position. The Seahawks might still need to consider a significant investment in a quarterback in the upcoming draft.