New Seahawks QB Sam Howell has time to grow into the eventual starter

Trust me, 12s; that time is not now

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Howell has to be more than a backup - just not yet

Now just because Pro Football Focus (our subscription required pals) graded Geno Smith 14th and Sam Howell 33rd is no reason to assume Howell isn't better. Smith's passer rating was 92.1, his QBR 59.5. Howell's rating was 78.9, his QBR 42.2. Geno threw 20 TDs and 9 INTs, Howell 21 each.

But you're right, the pride of the Tar Heels was clearly better. Okay, I don't want to bash him too much. I agree to some extent, that many of his issues were due to the system Howell had around him. He clearly isn't ready to take over the number one job, but he could be with a year or two in the Seahawks system.

I also agree with Mr. Vowell when he wrote that the Seahawks gave up too much for a backup quarterback. Howell should be at least as good as Drew Lock, who just signed for $5 million with the Giants. Saving $4 million on a position you hope never plays a meaningful down is a smart move. Where I disagree is in the projection for him. If the Hawks view Howell as strictly a backup, one who possibly has the potential to start in the future, then they gave up too much to get him.

I believe that Schneider thinks he just signed his quarterback for 2026 and forward, though. Ideally beginning in 2025, as Howell will be in the last year of his rookie deal and Smith has no guaranteed money in the final year of his deal (also 2025). Per Over The Cap, Geno has a massive cap hit in 2025 of $38.5 million. If the Hawks release or trade him, they'd shave $25 million off the bottom line. So I'm sure that when Schneider mentioned that Howell was the same age as several of the top QBs in this draft, he was looking at 2025 with dollar signs in his eyes.