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Would the Jets be interested in Commanders QB Sam Howell?

The New York Jets were left for dead last season when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season in Week 1 with an Achilles injury. Former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson took over and proved why the Jets traded for Rodgers in the first place.

Rodgers will be back in 2024. But the Jets would be wise to invest significantly in a backup. That’s always tricky with Rodgers and his ego. However, the Jets have a strong roster and cannot afford another lost season if Rodgers is out for any length of time.

New York could look to the veteran market. Would the Jets be able to afford former Washington quarterback Jacoby Brissett? Brissett shined with the Browns in 2022 and in limited appearances for the Commanders in 2023. Brissett wants a chance to play, and that’s not happening with a healthy Rodgers.

The Jets could look to the 2024 NFL draft and select a quarterback in the middle rounds. But how much could they help you if Rodgers went down with another injury?

New York could also look to the trade market. What about Washington’s starting quarterback from 2023, Sam Howell?

Connor Hughes covers the Jets for SNY in New York. In a recent installment of his “Jets Mailbag,” Hughes is asked about the Jets potentially trading for Howell.

Here’s his answer:

I love the idea of this, assuming he’s available. The Commanders could easily keep him as the backup. It’s not like this is a Sam DarnoldJustin Fields situation. If available, though, I’d prioritize him over anyone else.

Howell proved this year he can play. There are flaws to his game, but none where the season is lost if he has to play. He’s also cheaper. Howell would have a cap hit under $1 million each of the next two years — that matters to Woody Johnson and the Jets. There are those in the Jets building who believe he can play, too. Maybe two years learning behind Rodgers really unlocks his potential and he ends up being his replacement. He did throw for 3,946 yards and 21 touchdowns on a terrible Commanders team.

The key will simply be compensation. The Jets should do this if all it takes is a pick on the third day of the draft. Howell is just as good of an insurance policy as Gardner Minshew or Jacoby Brissett.

First of all, let’s be clear: this isn’t a report from Hughes. He was simply answering a question with his opinion. There is no indication that Washington would trade Howell or if the Jets would trade for Howell.

But a deeper dive makes this a worthy question: Should the Commanders trade Howell if they get a reasonable offer?

What’s a reasonable offer? Well, Howell is a former fifth-round pick, but he is worth significantly more than that, even as a potential backup. He’s also under contract for two more seasons at around $1 million each season. Even if the Commanders take a quarterback at No. 2 overall, Howell is a perfect and cheap backup for the next two seasons.

Everything Hughes said is correct. Howell can play. Yes, he has flaws, but he proved he could succeed, particularly if he were in a backup role.

New general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn haven’t said much about the current roster — for good reason. Why would they? We don’t know what they think of Howell.

Free agency begins in around three weeks. We’ll know more about Washington’s plan at quarterback if it lets Brissett walk and avoids signing any high-end backups. That would indicate the Commanders likely intend to roll with Howell and a rookie.

 

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire