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NFL insider names early favorite for Washington Commanders starting QB in 2023

The Washington Commanders opted against taking a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, sending them into the summer with a commitment to Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett. As minicamp nears, there’s already a heavy favorite to be the starter this fall.

Washington signed Brisseett to a one-year deal this offseason worth $10 million, including $8 million guaranteed. The 30-year-old quarterback is coming off a career-best season, posting an 89.1 quarterback rating with 2,608 passing yards and a 64 percent completion rate in 11 starts.

  • Sam Howell stats (2022): 83 QB rating, 169 passing yards, 1-1 TD-INT, 57.9% completion

While he was later benched when Deshaun Watson returned from his 11-game suspension, Brissett outplayed one of the highest-paid NFL quarterbacks. Despite the majority of his contract being guaranteed, though, it appears Brissett is not in a great position to start this fall.

Related: Washington Commanders draft picks 2024

John Keim of ESPN wrote in-depth about the Commanders’ quarterback situation heading into the summer. While the coaching staff is open to a competition between Brissett and Howell, there is a heavy favorite to win the job and practice reps will be distributed accordingly.

According to team sources Keim spoke with, Howell will receive the first start at the starting job and receive the higher share of first-team reps in training camp. Washington’s coaching staff liked how the former North Carolina quarterback developed in his rookie season and are confident in his ascension.

Washington was so confident in Howell that the organization was never tempted to draft quarterback Will Levis nor was trading up for him in the second round given serious consideration. From the organization’s perspective, everyone is happy with where Howell is at and there is a lot of confidence he can be the starting quarterback this fall.

Keim also details just how the front office was on Howell during the pre-draft process last year. Washington’s scouts assigned him a grade equivalent to that of a second-round pick, with some slightly contrasting evaluations assigning him a third-round value and others identifying him as a talent worth taking late in Round 1.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft

“I’m not suggesting he’ll be the next Drew Brees but skillset he has the same strengths.”

Former North Carolina offensive coordinator Phil Longo on Washington Commanders QB Sam Howell

As long as Howell holds his own in training camp and plays well in the preseason, he’ll be the Commanders’ starting quarterback in 2023. If he struggles or gets injured, then the coaching staff will have a viable replacement who it trusts to execute the offense and keep Washington in playoff contention next season.

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