Report: Commanders Inform OC Candidates Sam Howell Will Likely Be Starting QB in 2023

Adam WellsJanuary 14, 2023

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JANUARY 08: Sam Howell #14 of the Washington Commanders passes the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at FedExField on January 08, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)
Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

As the Washington Commanders look for a new offensive coordinator, they are operating with the assumption Sam Howell will be their starting quarterback in 2023.

Per CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones, the Commanders are telling potential offensive-coordinator candidates they will likely roll with Howell as their No. 1 signal-caller.

Head coach Ron Rivera announced Tuesday that Scott Turner wouldn't return as offensive coordinator in 2023.

Saying it's "likely" Howell will be the starter does give Washington some wiggle room if a top quarterback becomes available, but it might be a good idea for the team to avoid making another move for a non-star player at the position.

The Commanders swapped second-round picks and gave up two third-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts in a deal that brought back Carson Wentz last offseason.

Wentz was limited to eight games because of injuries. The 30-year-old was largely ineffective when he did play, throwing for 1,755 yards with 11 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 62.3 completion percentage.

While the quarterback market will almost certainly change after the playoffs, the only player known to be available is Derek Carr. He might be an upgrade over Wentz, but it won't be enough to significantly change the Commanders' outlook next season.

Another potential way to address the position is through the draft, but it would almost certainly require them to make a trade up since their top pick is at No. 16 overall. It seems unlikely one of the top options—Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis—will make it that far.

Howell was initially regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class. He had a rough junior season at North Carolina that dropped his stock to the point Washington selected him in the fifth round.

The 22-year-old made his only appearance as a rookie in Week 18. He started the Commanders' season finale, completing 11 of 19 attempts for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 26-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys.