Washington Commanders: Ramifications of the Sam Howell trade

The Washington Commanders sent Sam Howell (along with a fourth and a sixth-round pick) to the Seattle Seahawks for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick. What are the ramifications on the roster, the upcoming draft, and future seasons?
Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders
Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Washington Commanders have had a busy offseason so far. They started by overhauling their front office and coaching staff. When free agency hit, Washington opened up their checkbook. They have worked on the offensive line, the defensive line, the secondary, and the linebacker group. The Commanders even added some weapons on offense.

All this happened before the draft when Washington would have plenty of picks to add even more talent.

The big question was, which direction would they head in the draft (especially at number two)? Many were expecting a quarterback, but it wasn't a 100% guarantee. Now, it appears to be a lock.

Washington traded quarterback Sam Howell (along with a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick) to the Seattle Seahawks. In return, they received a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick.

What does this mean for the team, their future, and the upcoming draft?

First, let's talk about the second-overall pick. It's now abundantly clear that the Commanders are selecting a quarterback. The odds were already high, but trading Howell clinches it.

As for the rest of the draft, this trade now gives Washington six picks within the top 100 and a seventh pick at number 102. The Commanders have all the opportunities to revamp multiple positions through the draft. Adding help at cornerback, the offensive line, tight end, and wide receiver will likely be priorities.

For the future, it means Washington will have a new hope at quarterback. That doesn't mean that whoever they draft will be a slam dunk. There have been plenty of busts early in the first round. However, it's a legitimate and logical hope.

It's better than going with journeymen veteran QBs who can't hold a starting job, a 28-year-old with under 100 pass attempts, or a fifth-round pick with one career start.

Washington's had a carousel of quarterbacks attempt to take the mantle over the last few decades. In that time, we've seen a few good seasons. Mark Brunell was solid. Robert Griffin III's rookie year was special. Kirk Cousins put up strong numbers. Alex Smith won some games. Those are, sadly, the highlights, though.

The Washington Commanders have seemingly committed to drafting a quarterback this year. They've already added pieces in free agency and will have plenty of chances to add talent around him in the same draft. Whoever they go with will get a real shot at becoming the first true franchise quarterback that a lot of fans have ever seen in the Nation's capitol.

It's a sad realization but also an honest one.

Sam Howell had his ups and downs for the Washington Commanders in 2023. It led to a polarizing image with fans. Some saw him as this ultra-talented project who flashed brilliance but didn't get help, while others saw a QB who did himself no favors with poor decisions and head-scratching plays.

No matter how you viewed him, though, it's hard to disagree with Washington's new front office (and coaching staff) wanting to use an extremely high pick to draft a new direction for the franchise. Hopefully, this new QB makes it so the Washington Commanders aren't picking anywhere near number two overall for a long time.