Seahawks ‘Lightbulb Moment’: Schneider Reveals Trade Background on QB Sam

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback room is beginning to take shape after Geno Smith was retained for the 2024 season, and now the franchise has traded for Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell.

With Drew Lock with the New York Giants, the Seahawks needed a backup for Smith, and that turned out to be Howell. The move surprised some, but general manager John Schneider has been an admirer of Howell’s for a while.

That fact goes all the way back to when Howell was 2022 draft-eligible, as our Corbin K. Smith breaks down here. But more recently?

A “lightbulb moment” came when Schneider realized he wanted Howell on his roster came in Week 10 last season when Seattle played Washington in a 29-26 win.

“The day we played here, that hit home how tough he was, how strong he was,” Schneider said via Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob. “Keeping his eyes downfield, finding the open receiver and, yeah, shoot, almost winning the game there at the end. … We got great reviews on him and we loved him coming out of college. We’re happy to get him in the mix.”

That day, Howell completed 29 of his 44 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns while having a passer rating of 109.3.

Those stat lines made some in the Commanders’ organization think Howell could be the franchise’s long-term starter. But as the season went on, things became rather difficult for the second-year quarterback.

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Now, with a fresh challenge as he heads to the NFC West, Howell will be looking to make an impact this offseason.

While Geno is the starter moving forward, his future beyond 2024 is unknown and there is a thought that perhaps Howell is the one to take over from Smith, who could save Seattle $25 million next offseason by being a post-June 1 cut.

Having Howell sit behind Smith for a year and learn Ryan Grubb’s offense before taking over is an interesting idea, but it remains just that for now.

Still, Smith knows that he has to perform this season, as Howell proved at times last season that he is a more than capable NFL quarterback.

It’s Geno’s show for now, but Howell is lurking in the background, ready for his opportunity.

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