3 underpaid Washington Commanders players heading into 2023

(Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell
(Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell /
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(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell /

Sam Howell – Commanders QB

  • 2023 cap hit – $960,400

Dropping into the fifth-round of the 2022 NFL Draft was a blow to Sam Howell from a personal and financial standpoint. The player was once projected as a potential No. 1 overall selection, but concerns about his ability to transition to the next level coupled with a final college campaign of regression left him as a relative afterthought last spring.

This is something the Washington Commanders took advantage of on Day 3. After taking their time with the quarterback, Howell got the chance to shine in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowbowys and wasn’t overawed by the occasion whatsoever.

Howell’s production and growth as a rookie impressed Ron Rivera enough to announce that he’ll be atop the depth chart when OTAs commence. Eric Bieniemy’s proven capabilities when it comes to nurturing talent also stand to benefit the North Carolina product more than most.

Even though additional competition is coming, Howell has every chance of starting in 2023 if nothing drastic occurs in the meantime. If this likely scenario comes to fruition, then his $960,400 salary-cap hit next season represents the steal of the century for a starting NFL quarterback.

The Commanders have the luxury of building around a cheap rookie deal for the next two years. If Howell thrives, then he can expect a lucrative extension in 2025 if not sooner.

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