Report suggests Commanders leveraged maximum value from Sam Howell trade

Adam Peters played this perfectly...
Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A recent insider report suggests the Washington Commanders leveraged maximum value from their decision to trade quarterback Sam Howell.

It seemed for a long time as if the Washington Commanders were going to bring in extra competition for quarterback Sam Howell, at the very least. To the surprise of some, those in power cut the cord entirely by trading the young signal-caller.

Howell got dealt a bad hand, but there is no room for sentiment where the Commanders' new regime is concerned. They've adopted a business-first model with reinvigorated professionalism. After regressing behind a woeful offensive line over the second half of 2023, the former fifth-round selection was deemed expendable after lengthy assessments.

Had the Commanders not had the No. 2 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, things might have been different. Howell was shipped to the Seattle Seahawks for a decent return considering where he was drafted. This was thanks in no small part to Peters maximizing leverage to strike the best deal possible.

Commanders had leverage before Sam Howell trade

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, additional interest in Howell also played into Peters' hands. The respected insider stated via USA Today Sports that the Los Angeles Rams were also incredibly high on the North Carolina product, They believe he could be groomed into a potential Matthew Stafford successor under Sean McVay. In the end, general manager Les Snead was not willing to match what the Seahawks put forward.

"They [Seattle Seahawks] outbid the Rams, who I know that there was a strong feeling from the Rams coaching staff that they wanted Sam Howell badly. They really liked him, so the Seahawks were able to outbid them. So that’s good. You got him. You also kept him away from a team that really could have used him as a potential successor there."

Mike Garafolo via USA Today Sports

Peters deserves credit for getting what he did for Howell and also doing right by the signal-caller for good measure. It alleviated all doubt about the Commanders taking a quarterback at No. 2 overall, but which way Peters and others are leaning remains a mystery.

Howell was traded for more than others taken much higher from what looks to be one of the worst quarterback draft classes in recent memory. Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder were practically given away by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons respectively. This indicates a level of hope from those around the league that the player can reinvent himself as a starting-caliber option in a different environment.

This officially turns the page on Howell's brief stint in Washington. While there were flashes of extraordinary talent in difficult circumstances last season, the Commanders' new power structure believes they can find a better option from this latest crop of quarterbacks emerging from the college ranks.

Sitting and learning behind a proven veteran who's been through troubling times should assist Howell greatly. Geno Smith was written off entirely before becoming a Pro Bowl presence under center. This advice will be invaluable as the third-year pro embarks on a potential road to redemption.

This seems like a win-win for all parties. Peters got a boost in draft standing and Howell got a fresh start with an organization highly regarded in NFL circles. What comes next for Washington will determine whether this move pays off or not.

All eyes are - and will remain - on the No. 2 pick. Getting it right is critical.