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Commanders send QB Sam Howell to Seahawks in pick swap, per report

The Washington Commanders are dealing Sam Howell, their starting quarterback last season, to the Seattle Seahawks in a draft pick swap, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Seahawks will reportedly get Howell, a fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft (No. 102) and a sixth (No. 179). The Commanders are reportedly set to receive a third-rounder (No. 78) and a fifth (No. 152).

Howell was selected by the Commanders in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The former Tar Heel started one game for Washington during the 2022 season, a 26-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17.

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 31: Sam Howell #14 of the Washington Commanders looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the game at FedExField on December 31, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Sam Howell's time with the Washington Commanders has ended. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) (Scott Taetsch via Getty Images)

Last offseason, as the Commanders touted a new era, they selected Howell as their starter over veteran Jacoby Brissett. It was an expected move as the team moved on from Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke. But by Week 17 of the 2023 campaign, Howell was announced to have been benched for Brissett. That decision didn't last long, however, as Brissett sustained an injury before he could play and Howell regained his role.

Over his two-year tenure with Washington, Howell recorded 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 18 games. Former Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was a major advocate for Howell. Once Rivera was fired and replaced by former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Howell's exit from Washington seemed imminent.

Washington has the second overall pick in the upcoming draft and the team is likely to select a new quarterback. This week, they signed veteran signal-caller Marcus Mariota, who appeared in three games for the Philadelphia Eagles last season as Jalen Hurts' backup.

In Seattle, Howell will back up Geno Smith, the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year, according to Seahawks general manager John Schneider.

Smith's backup for the past two seasons was Drew Lock, who reportedly agreed to join the New York Giants on Tuesday.