Mike Macdonald shuts down any drama for who will be Seahawks QB1

Seattle traded for quarterback Sam Howell this offseason.

Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks chose not to re-sign Drew Lock this offseason and, as it turns out, not bringing him back saved the team money. Lock signed with the New York Giants for $5 million. To replace the backup quarterback, Seattle has seemingly decided not to take a quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft and instead, the team traded for Sam Howell.

Howell started every game in Washington in 2023 and he was better than expected. He did lead the league in interceptions, though. Some of those were likely due to Howell being under pressure so much. He was sacked an NFL-high 65 times. His line was terrible, clearly, but Howell also had a tendency to hold on to the ball too long. He did improve that as the season went on, however.

Howell, like Smith, is signed through 2025. But unlike Smith's cap hit of $26.4 million in 2024 and $38.5 million in 2025, Howell's cap hit is only as high as $1.1 million in 2025. If Seattle chose to release Smith after next year, the team would save $25 million in cap room. Could financial reasons lead to a quarterback competition for the Seahawks?

Mike Macdonald says there is no quarterback competition for the Seattle Seahawks

Not so fast, according to what Mike Macdonald reportedly told the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Macdonald, as general manager John Schneider has said since Seattle traded for Howell, was extremely clear that there is zero battle for QB1. He has also expressed this to both Smith and Howell.

There should not be a quarterback competition either. Smith led the NFL in completion percentage in 2022 and the NFC in touchdown passes in the same year. This past season, Smith led the league in fourth quarter comebacks (4) and game-winning drives (5). Howell flashed the ability to make plays and could potentially become a solid starter somewhere, he only ranked 25th in total QBR (Smith was 15th), and 29th in passer rating (Smith was 17th).

The best part is that there are positives all around for the Seahawks. Seattle has two quarterbacks with at least one full season of starting experience on their roster and that means the team should not think of taking a quarterback in the first round. Instead, Schneider can address other greater needs, such as the interior of the offensive line. Plus, having two potentially good quarterbacks on the roster for the next two seasons is a great thing.

Read more from 12th Man Rising