Sam Howell

Latest On Commanders’ Trades, Sam Howell

New Commanders owner Josh Harris played a major role in pushing the Montez Sweat and Chase Young trades over the goal line. While Harris is believed to have made the push for Washington to trade one of its starting defensive ends and, per’s Albert Breer, explore moving both.

The team was not expected to trade both, but after the team dealt Sweat to the Bears for a second-round pick, calls kept coming in for Young. The Ravens pursued the former No. 2 overall pick, but it took only a third-round compensatory pick for the 49ers to acquire Young just before the deadline.

Ron Rivera was said to be onboard with this sell-off, though it is difficult to believe the fourth-year Washington HC was thrilled with losing his top two edge rushers as he attempts to make a case for a fifth season. But the Commanders did win their first game after the trades. Contractual resources will be allocated elsewhere in 2024, after a Young-or-Sweat decision — be it through free agency or the franchise tag — had loomed for years.

Rather than this being about acquiring Day 2 ammo to potentially trade up for a quarterback in 2024, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini indicates there is a “strong” belief within the Commanders’ building Sam Howell is the team’s franchise quarterback (subscription required). These picks will presumably be used to build around the 2022 fifth-rounder.

It is not exactly ideal for ownership to be driving major trades, though it does frequently happen. And it certainly cannot be assumed Rivera and GM Martin Mayhew will be around to make the picks come April 2024. Both David Tepper and Rob Walton signed off on coach firings within their first 1 1/2 years on the job. The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett after 15 games, and Tepper canned Rivera after 12 in 2019. Rivera, who led Washington to the playoffs in 2020 but does not have a winning season with the team, may be on the verge of seeing another new owner fire him.

Even as he entered the season on a hot seat, Rivera stumped for Howell this offseason. After the Commanders made an aggressive Russell Wilson offer and were connected to just about every available QB in 2022 — in a process that ended with the trade for Carson Wentz — they stood down this offseason, centering their QB plan around Howell. Although Jacoby Brissett signed a one-year deal worth $8MM, Howell was always expected to be the starter. After winning the job, the North Carolina product has shown flashes (and a propensity to take sacks at a concerning rate) but has not exactly cemented himself as the long-term starter — especially if the 2024 Commanders feature a new coaching staff.

QBR slots Howell 20th. He leads the league in completions and is tied for the NFL high in interceptions (nine). Howell has completed 66.6% of his passes, at 7.0 yards per attempt, and posted 14 TD throws. Howell’s second half of the season could determine the team’s plans with the Sweat- and Young-obtained picks. For now, however, the plans are for Howell to stick around as the starter. These blueprints often change, and no team knows this better than the Commanders. Washington started seven Week 1 QBs from 2017-23. Only the Chargers (1987-93), Browns (2013-19) and Colts (2017-23) match this turnover rate in the Super Bowl era.

The Commanders started Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams at defensive end Sunday. Sweat made his Bears debut, after agreeing to a $24MM-per-year extension; Young is set to begin his 49ers run in Week 10. Washington will build its defensive line around Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne‘s big contracts, but the exits of both Young and Sweat will create a key need for the 2024 offseason.

QB Notes: Purdy, Murray, Colts, Love, Howell

Brock Purdy‘s sensational start to his career doubles as a win for the 49ers‘ scouting department. Had the team not used the 2022 draft’s final selection on the Iowa State quarterback, it would have needed to fend off multiple other clubs in the UDFA chase. The Vikings were prepared to make an aggressive pursuit of Purdy in the post-draft signing period, Kevin Seifert of notes. Purdy said he was considering the Vikings, 49ers or Texans if he went undrafted.

Minnesota does not have a Kirk Cousins heir apparent lined up, though it did draft Jaren Hall this year, and has its longtime starter in a contract year. The Vikings also use a somewhat similar scheme compared to the 49ers, with the Sean McVayKyle Shanahan offenses derived from the Mike ShanahanGary Kubiak system. Purdy landing with Houston probably would not have been optimal, given the state of the organization at that point. Though, the Texans — who used Davis Mills and Kyle Allen as starters last year — would have presented by far the best chance for early playing time. Purdy’s seventh-round 49ers deal runs through 2025.

Here is the latest from the QB scene:

  • Kyler Murray is not yet on the Cardinals‘ active roster, being designated for return off the PUP list last week. But the Cardinals took Murray off their injury report Thursday. While that opened the door to a possible Saturday activation for Week 8, the team lists the two-time Pro Bowler as doubtful for the Ravens matchup. Jonathan Gannon has said the Cards have a ramp-up period in mind for Murray, who is 10 1/2 months removed from his ACL tear. Week 9 or Week 10 have surfaced as windows for Murray’s re-emergence. Though Murray must be activated by Nov. 8 in order to play this season, it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals start him immediately once he is activated or extend the final stretch of his recovery via more Joshua Dobbs starts.
  • Anthony Richardson is not expected to require a second surgery to repair his AC joint injury. The Colts quarterback underwent surgery this week, and Jim Irsay said no new issues emerged during the procedure. Dr. Neil ElAttrache performed the surgery in Los Angeles, per’s Stephen Holder. No timetable exists for Richardson’s return, per Irsay, but given the October operation, he should be ready for offseason work.
  • Aaron Rodgers‘ first Packers season resulted in a 6-10 record, marking a significant step back after Brett Favre guided them to the 2007 NFC championship game. Rodgers finished 11th in QBR in 2008, which preceded an eight-year streak of Packer playoff berths. Through six games, Jordan Love sits 17th in QBR but ranks last among qualified starters in completion percentage (57.5). Green Bay has been outscored 63-6 over its past four first halves. After the Packers saw considerable strides from Love in 2022, leading to the Rodgers divorce, Matt LaFleur indicated (via’s Rob Demovsky) the team’s confidence in the fourth-year QB is “not wavering one bit.” Love, who signed a half-measure extension this offseason to take the place of a fifth-year option, will almost definitely have this full season to prove himself. Barring a lackluster second half, should go into the offseason as the Packers’ 2024 starter.
  • Ron Rivera was a bit less emphatic when assessing Sam Howell‘s status. The fourth-year Washington HC said (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) he is committed to the 2022 fifth-round pick, but he “can’t predict the future.” Howell has shown flashes; he is also on pace to break the single-season record for sacks taken. David Carr‘s rookie year, with the expansion Texans, currently resides atop that list (76). Howell’s 40 through seven games lead the NFL by 12. Howell sits 25th in QBR. With Rivera’s job far less secure than LaFleur’s, it would not surprise if Jacoby Brissett saw time at some point. Though, the Commanders passed on pursuing upgrades this offseason out of a commitment to Howell, creating the perception of a long leash.

QB Notes: Jets, Jackson, Commanders

Out of football since the 2016 season, Colin Kaepernick continues to pursue a comeback. The exiled quarterback wrote a letter to Jets GM Joe Douglas asking for an opportunity to join the team’s practice squad. The letter, as shared by rapper J. Cole (Instagram link), lays out a number of reasons Kaepernick could assist the Jets while making it clear he would be a Zach Wilson contingency plan. Kaepernick cites his ability to offer the Jets’ defense a look at a mobile QB, referencing the advantage that could provide the unit given the dual-threat starters on the team’s schedule. The letter also includes Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh and Mark Davis being listed as references. While it is unusual to see a document like this surface, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk confirms it is authentic.

Davis’ team gave the 35-year-old QB a workout last summer, and the former 49ers starter questioned the Raiders preferring Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens — the team’s backups at the time — to him. Even though Kaepernick indicated he still trains five days a week for a potential comeback, the book is almost definitely closed for his return to the NFL. He would have profiled as a more realistic option during the late 2010s, but since the 2019 workout snafu in Atlanta, connections to teams have been sparse. Shortly after Aaron Rodgers‘ injury, Kaepernick’s agent contacted the Jets, and a subsequent report indicated no interest existed on the team’s part. The Jets have since signed Trevor Siemian to their P-squad.

Here is the latest from the QB landscape:

  • Siemian could dress for the Jets as an emergency third QB, provided he is elevated to the active roster ahead of Saturday’s deadline, but Robert Saleh confirmed (via’s Rich Cimini) the journeyman passer will not be active for Week 4. Wilson and Tim Boyle will be the team’s only active QBs for a third straight game. Siemian has made 30 career starts, including one for the Jets (Week 2, 2019), but could not beat out Jake Browning for the Bengals’ backup job during training camp.
  • It took the Ravens nearly 2 1/2 years to extend Lamar Jackson, but when the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts contract surfaced, GM Eric DeCosta made an earnest effort to finish the process. “We had just signed Odell [Beckham Jr.] and the Hurts deal came out. I thought to myself, ‘Why not try again?’” DeCosta said, via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (subscription required). “We put some stuff together on paper. There were people who probably weren’t optimistic about our chances. How many players request a trade and then do a long-term deal with their team like a month later? It doesn’t happen very often, but I was optimistic, partly because I know Lamar. I had been with him in Florida. I know what he’s made of and I know what’s important to him.” DeCosta said he had not spoken to Jackson much this offseason, one in which the former MVP requested a trade. The Hurts deal continued to paint the Deshaun Watson fully guaranteed accord as an outlier. Long connected to seeking a fully guaranteed contract, Jackson accepted the Ravens’ offer and signed a five-year, $260MM deal — one that helped shape Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow‘s respective negotiations.
  • Eric Bieniemy going from Patrick Mahomes to a Commanders team planning to go with Sam Howell did not represent a deal-breaker for the five-year Chiefs OC. The new NFC East play-caller joined the Commanders in placing a second-round grade on the North Carolina prospect last year, Albert Breer of notes. A one-time first-round-level prospect prior to a statistical regression as a junior, Howell is off to an uneven start. QBR places the 2022 fifth-rounder 25th through three games, though he has shown some promise early in his QB1 run.

Commanders Name Sam Howell Starting QB

Throughout the offseason, Sam Howell has been in pole position to win the Week 1 starting role for the Commanders. Head coach Ron Rivera confirmed on Friday that the second-year quarterback is indeed the team’s No. 1 heading into the regular season.

Howell’s status seemed to be confirmed when Carson Wentz was released and Taylor Heinicke departed in free agency. The signing of Jacoby Brissett — who has 48 starts to his name and has seen first-team work in each of his four career stops — left the door open to a competition during the offseason, however. In spite of that, it was understood both before and after the hiring of offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy that the role was Howell’s to lose.

Rivera confirmed as much earlier this month, leaving training camp sessions and preseason contests as the final steps for Howell to cement his status as QB1. The 22-year-old impressed the coaching staff during joint practices with the Ravens this week, Rivera noted, adding that Howell will play in the upcoming preseason contest between the two teams (Twitter link via NBC Sports’ JP Finlay). That will provide him further opportunity to acclimate to the NFL level, something he had limited opportunities to do as a rookie.

The North Carolina alum started only one games last season, leading to plenty of questions about his readiness to handle full-time starting duties in 2023. Howell has received consistent praise for his development in recent months, though, and he will be given the opportunity to prove Washington’s decision to bank on his improvement was a sound one. Competing for a postseason berth will be challenging in the NFC East, but it could be necessary for Rivera’s job security.

Howell will aim to not only achieve success in the immediate future, but also provide the Commanders with a long-term answer under center, something which has eluded the franchise for years. Brissett has not drawn criticism for his performance with the second-team offense and has plenty of experience as a fill-in option, but at least for the time being it will be Howell at the helm. It will be interesting to see how the latter fares as the team’s offense adjusts to Bieniemy in the hopes of taking a needed step forward in production.

Given today’s news, almost every starting quarterback situation is now accounted for. The Buccaneers’ open competition is still ongoing, and 2023 second overall pick C.J. Stroud has not yet officially been given the designation of Texans starter. In the nation’s capital, however, clarity has emerged with the expected outcome.

Latest On Commanders, QB Sam Howell

Sam Howell has occupied the Commanders’ starting quarterback role throughout the offseason. With the team set to begin the preseason, their evaluation of him will reach the next stage. Head coach Ron Rivera remains confident the team’s young signal-caller is progressing well, but his Week 1 starter’s status is not assured yet.

The 2022 fifth-rounder was declared Washington’s starter of the present and future as early as January, with Carson Wentz unsurprisingly being released not long after. Howell was tapped as the team’s presumed QB1 after the hiring of offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and once again ahead of training camp. His performance since then has drawn praise from Rivera.

As detailed by Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano, Howell has impressed with his ability to pick up Bieniemy’s scheme. As a result, he will be in pole position during the preseason, but Rivera has been consistent over the course of the offseason in mentioning Jacoby Brissett as well. The veteran was signed to a one-year deal to serve as an insurance policy in case Howell – who only started one game last year – struggles in his opportunity to hold down the full-time gig.

As Vacchiano notes, it is not clear at this point if the starter’s role could be Brissett’s to win, as opposed to strictly being Howell’s to lose. The former has 48 starts to his name, including the first 11 games of the season last year when he filled in for the Browns until Deshaun Watson‘s suspension had been served. Brissett, 30, represents a high-floor, low-ceiling option for a Commanders team facing what many feel could be a make-or-break season for Rivera.

The NFC East figures to be highly competitive after each of the teams other than Washington made the postseason. Howell’s play during exhibition contests will go a long way in determining his fate, but individual expectations for the North Carolina product will be tempered compared to his divisional counterparts considering the experience gulf which exists. In spite of that, Rivera is assured the Commanders will have have a passer in place by Week 1 who will allow the team to compete for a playoff spot.

“I mean, we got some really good quarterback play going on right now,” he said, via Vacchiano. “We’ve got a real good quarterback room.”

Ron Rivera Confirms Sam Howell As Commanders’ Training Camp Starter

Since the end of the 2022 season, Sam Howell has been in the driver’s seat to begin the coming campaign as the Commanders’ starting quarterback. The team’s stance in that regard did not change through minicamp, and the same is true with respect to next month’s training camp.

Head coach Ron Rivera said both before and after the hiring of new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy that Howell would sit atop the depth chart heading into the new league year. Free agency did not, as expected, involve a serious pursuit of the top signal-callers available via signings or trades, but a veteran presence was indeed added. Jacoby Brissett was inked to a one-year deal in March, opening the door to a potential offseason competition.

When Rivera addressed the situation before this past week’s mandatory minicamp, he said Brissett had “shown us some things that have really gotten people’s attention,” adding that the team “talks about Jacoby almost as much as we talk about Sam” (h/t Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports). With minicamp having come and gone, Washington has had another chance (albeit under very limited circumstances given the nature of June practices) to evaluate Howell with the first-team offense. The latter preformed well enough to maintain his title of QB1 for the time being.

“He’s much shown us what we want to see,” Rivera said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “He’s young, we know he is young. There was a lot of room for growth, and we know that, but he’s got a good skillset. He’s mobile, he’s got good foot movement, he’s got quick twitch to him, good decision maker. He is still learning to make those decisions, but he’s also got the arm talent and that’s the thing that that excites us.”

Howell, a 2022 fifth-rounder, made just one start in his rookie season. The Commanders’ Carson Wentz experiment did not pay off, leading to his release this offseason. Rather than making another pricey move under center, the keys have tentatively been handed over to Howell, whose career at North Carolina made him one of several less-than-highly-touted member of last year’s quarterback class.

A strong showing in training camp would be enough for Howell to remain in pole position for the Week 1 starting position, though the Brissett deal includes a high proportion of guranteed money along with incentives. The latter has logged 17 starts across his one-year stints in Miami and Cleveland over the past two years, and could provide Bieniemy’s unit with a stable floor if Howell delivers an underwhelming performance in July and August. Such a development will be needed for a change to the depth chart at this point, though.

Commanders Likely To Be Sold In A Matter Of Weeks

Momentum towards a Commanders sale continues to build, with Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reporting that owner Dan Snyder is likely to sell the franchise in the next one to three weeks. Although no Commanders-related matter was officially on the agenda at last week’s league meetings, Falcons owner Arthur Blank appeared to confirm that a sale is imminent.

“The league is doing whatever it can to help support the Snyders in this transaction and transition,” Blank said. “I saw [Snyder’s wife] Tanya [Snyder] this morning and wished her well, Dan as well. I think their family has moved to London, I believe. We’ll see what will happen. He’s a young man, his children are young, his wife’s young and they have a whole life ahead of them. I certainly wish them well.”

Indeed, as Nicki Jhabvala, Liz Clarke, and Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported in January, the Snyders recently filed a certificate of incorporation of a private limited company for Snyder UK Investments Limited with the registrar of companies for England and Wales. On that certificate, the Snyders — both of whom are listed as company directors — name England as their usual place of residence.

Furthermore, the Synders’ son, Gerry Snyder, is no longer on the Appalachian State football roster, and Jones reports that Gerry is not enrolled at the school this semester. Dan Snyder has cleared out his ownership offices and has put one D.C.-area estate on the market.

In addition to Josh Harris, Steve Apostolopoulos, and Tilman Fertitta, there is a mystery fourth bidder in the mix, according to Jones, although the identity of that bidder is presently unknown. While the most recent reporting on the matter suggested that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remains in play, Charles Gasparino of FOX Business Network says that Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, has no interest in the Commanders (Twitter link). Interestingly, former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III is interested in joining the Harris group, as the one-time face of the franchise said during a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show (via Madison Williams of

Gasaprino also hears that reports of the Harris- and Apostolopoulos-led groups hitting the fully-funded $6 billion are a bit overstated. Instead, those bids come with contingencies, and the “real” number is actually closer to $5 billion (Twitter links). One way or another, Dan Snyder is going to realize quite a return on investment, as he purchased the club for $800MM back in 1999.

Another point to consider is that, regardless of the details of the final proposals, Dan Snyder does not have to sell the Commanders to the highest bidder, and can instead sell to the group he likes the most. For instance, Jones suggests that Snyder may not care for the fact that the Harris and Apostolopoulos groups have leaked reports of their ability to obtain the necessary cash for the purchase of his team when he himself has not even confirmed that the team is for sale. Similarly, the personal tension between Snyder and Bezos has been oft-cited as a reason why Bezos may not be able to acquire the franchise despite having the financial wherewithal to blow other candidates out of the water.

The pending sale also has some on-field ramifications. We had already heard about the delayed payouts of signing bonuses included in recent player contracts, and JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington says that the status of DE Chase Young‘s fifth-year option could be impacted by the ownership situation (Twitter link). After a tremendous rookie campaign, Young sustained a torn ACL and patellar tendon in Week 10 of the 2021 season, which limited him to nine games that year and just three contests in 2022. However, because Young does have a Pro Bowl nod on his resume, his fifth-year option would check in at a fully-guaranteed $17.5MM.

A decision on Young’s option must be made by May 2. And, while the team is reportedly committed to 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell as its starting quarterback, head coach Ron Rivera said that a new owner’s viewpoints on the matter could alter the Commanders’ QB direction.

Commanders’ Eric Bieniemy Hire Will Not Impact Sam Howell’s Status As QB1

The Commanders made a big splash when they landed Eric Bieniemy as their offensive coordinator several days ago. However, that hire will not change the club’s approach to its quarterback position, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Back in January, we heard that Washington was telling potential OC candidates that 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell is expected to be the team’s QB1 when training camp begins. Although head coach Ron Rivera subsequently left the door open to a veteran addition, it was clear that such a player would be more of a backup type and would likely not be one of the high-profile passers on the free agent and trade markets.

Now, even with Bieniemy on board, Howell remains in the driver’s seat to open the 2023 campaign as the Commanders’ QB1, and that suits the newly-minted OC just fine. Bieniemy, like Washington’s other offensive coordinator targets, is high on Howell and much of the rest of the offensive roster, which includes strong skill position depth in running backs Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson and wide receivers Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel. Because of generally substandard quarterback play, the club posted below-average marks in total offense and points per game in 2022 despite leading the league in time of possession. If Howell develops as the Commanders apparently believe he will, and if the team can bolster its O-line, it would be fair to expect a much more productive offense in 2023.

With Washington about to start a rookie-contract signal-caller and on the verge of cutting bait on Carson Wentz‘s contract — which will come with no dead money ramifications — it will be much easier to address the offensive line and other needs. Bieniemy could therefore be well-positioned to improve his head coaching stock, which has dropped in recent years despite the continued success of the Chiefs, his former employer.

Howell started just one game for the Commanders in his rookie season, a Week 18 win over the Cowboys. In that contest, he completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 169 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also added another 35 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

Commanders HC Ron Rivera Talks QB, Payne, Young

The Commanders continue to reiterate that Sam Howell will be their QB1 heading into training camp. During an appearance on PFT Live, head coach Ron Rivera reinforced Howell’s standing as the top quarterback, but he acknowledged the team may bring in a veteran to push him.

[RELATED: Commanders Committed To Sam Howell As QB1]

“The biggest thing we decided is he will start out as QB1,” Rivera said (via Charean Williams of “He will most certainly get the first opportunity. We go into OTAs and minicamp, he’ll be QB1. He’ll fight for that position. We’ll give him every opportunity to earn it, and we’ll see what happens when we get into training camp and through it.”

Last year, the Commanders pursued QBs like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and Derek Carr. This time around, they’re not looking to make a big splash at the position, as Rivera dismissed the notion that the organization would pursue a big name.

“No. No,” Rivera said. “I think the biggest thing is we have to find a guy to come in that’s going to compete, but in terms of finding a guy you’re going to have to spend a lot of capital on, no. We’re not looking for a guy we’ve got to spend a lot of capital on. We’re looking for a guy that’s going to come in and compete first and foremost.”

Rivera expressed a similar sentiment to ESPN’s John Keim, noting that the front office will not spend “big capital” at the position (Twitter link). The team will save a significant chunk of cap when they inevitably cut Carson Wentz, but we previously heard that the organization liked the idea of starting a QB on a rookie contract and spending those savings elsewhere. Howell, a 2022 fifth-round pick, only got one start as a rookie, completing 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 169 yards, one touchdown, and one interception en route to a Week 18 win over the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, Rivera told Keim that the Commanders have reached out to defensive tackle Daron Payne‘s reps but have yet to talk money. The impending free agent had his best season in 2022, finishing with a career-high 11.5 sacks. Another important defensive line decision will surround former second-overall pick Chase Young; the Commanders will have to soon make a decision on his fifth-year option. Rivera told Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post that the team has yet to make a decision on Young, noting that they still need to evaluate his health and development (Twitter link). However, Rivera wasn’t too worried about the perception if the Commanders decline the player’s option, noting that the Commanders followed a similar path with Payne.

“No. Because that’s what we did with Daron,” Rivera explained. “It cost us. But it cost us in a good way, because the young man played, he did things the right way. He didn’t sit out, he didn’t withhold, he could have done that sit-in during training camp, but he didn’t. And because he didn’t, now we’re in that position where we have to find a way to say thank you, OK, you’ve earned it.”

Commanders Pursued Derek Carr In 2022; Team Open To Veteran Addition

Participating in the veteran quarterback market several times since Kirk Cousins‘ franchise tags led to a departure, Washington has since been linked to cooling off those pursuits. An unexpected Sam Howell promotion, after a one-start season, is being considered.

But the team will not rule out the possibility it again acquires a veteran. After discussing a few vets last year, the team will at least have Howell in the mix for its 2023 starting job. Third-year GM Martin Mayhew, however, said the team will look into an experienced option again.

You pretty much every season have to look at the entire landscape of what’s available,” Mayhew said, via Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that last year. We will do the same things this year. We’re not going to rule out acquiring a vet. We’ll go through the entire landscape of who’s available. We’ll evaluate them, and we’ll get to a consensus.”

Last year’s search included pursuits of Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, with a three-first-rounder offer being sent to the Seahawks for the latter. Wilson’s no-trade clause intervened, as it did for other non-Broncos teams as well. But the Commanders’ 2022 search also included calls to the Raiders on their then-starter. The Raiders fielded multiple inquiries from the Commanders about Derek Carr last year, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

The Raiders’ Dave ZieglerJosh McDaniels regime rebuffed the Commanders’ Carr interest, preferring to see if the longtime starter proved a fit in McDaniels’ offense. After Carr did not impress with McDaniels, the Raiders are ready to see what they can get for the 31-year-old passer. They will try to trade Carr and his $40.4MM guarantee, which vests Feb. 15, to stockpile assets for the future. The recent Howell buzz aside, it seems logical the Commanders will revisit Carr as an option.

Washington stands to save $26.2MM by releasing Carson Wentz, who remains on his Eagles extension from 2019. The team would take on a larger contract with Carr, and the former Pro Bowler has a no-trade clause included in his half-measure extension agreed to in 2022. That complicates any team’s pursuit of Carr, who confirmed he wants another chance to start. It will be interesting to see how many teams are truly in the mix for the solid-but-unspectacular passer, who could follow the likes of Alex Smith and Matthew Stafford in being part of a mid-winter trade.

Washington participated in the first of those trades, obtaining Smith from the Chiefs for Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick. The team then extended Smith, but his gruesome leg injury opened the floodgates at this position in Washington. Should Howell or any non-Wentz arm start for the team to open the 2023 season, it will mark the team’s seventh season-opening QB in seven years. Taylor Heinicke is not among this contingent, having replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick minutes into the latter’s Washington debut/one-off last season, and he will be an unrestricted free agent come March.

Mayhew called Howell’s Week 18 outing against the Cowboys promising but cautioned that was “a very small sample” to judge and “there’s going to be a lot of evaluation process for him.” Will that performance stop the team from chasing a higher-profile option?