John Schneider's Aaron Rodgers experience led to Seahawks trading for Sam Howell

The Seahawks general manager has a good idea about what he is doing and much of that comes from experience.
Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider
Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

After losing Drew Lock to free agency this offseason, the Seattle Seahawks needed to find a backup to quarterback Geno Smith. The team might have drafted a QB, but Seattle had other needs. Plus, the presumption was that after the first few quarterbacks, there was a precipitous drop in quality in the 2024 NFL draft.

Why take a quarterback who might have to play valuable snaps should something happen to Smith late in the draft if general manager John Schneider and the rest of the organization did not believe in the player? A cornerback, for instance, is a position where a team can make a mistake. Quarterback isn't.

Seattle still assumed Smith was going to be QB1 for at least 2024 no matter what happened. The question was whether to try to trade up and grab a quarterback to potentially replace Smith or sign a low-cost free agent for one year in hopes they never play. Seattle, though, went in a different direction.

Seahawks GM John Schneider relied on Aaron Rodgers experience before trading for Sam Howell

The Seahawks traded with the Washington Commanders to acquire quarterback Sam Howell. Howell was the full-time starter for Washington last year and he had 21 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. He was also sacked an astonishing 65 times. Some of those should be blamed on him as he held the ball too long. Much of the blame should be placed on his bad offensive line, though.

Howell is only 23 years old and still has two years left on his contract. He could be starting in Seattle by 2025, and, if he does well, could start well beyond that as well. His age and the size of his current deal (which only pays Howell around $1 million a season for 2024 and 2025) must have gone into Schneider's thinking before trading for Howell.

Recently on the NFL Network, Schneider revealed more about what happened before Seattle made the move for Howell. Before coming to the Seahawks in 2010, Schneider worked for the Green Bay Packers. Ahead of the 2005 draft, the Packers draft team had a meeting where they went through different scenarios. The team wanted to take a quarterback and they wanted to choose Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay was not sure Rodgers would be available, however, but they thought there was a chance so they didn't trade up or down in hopes Rodgers would land with them. At pick 24, they chose Rodgers.

Next. Seahawks sign another quarterback who started against them in 2023. Seahawks sign another quarterback who started against them in 2023. dark

Before trading for Sam Howell this offseason, Schneider met with his front office team and they went through the same kind of scenario that he did when he worked with the Packers. In Seattle's case, though, the team thought there could be six quarterbacks taken before was set to choose at pick 16. The Seahawks decided not to take a chance on what would happen in the draft and made the trade for Howell. Seattle took defensive tackle Byron Murphy II with their first-round choice.

Had John Schneider not gone through the experience of preparing to draft Aaron Rodgers, he might have handled the Sam Howell trade differently. Instead, Howell could be the future quarterback for the Seahawks.

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