Los Angeles Rams Reportedly ‘Badly’ Wanted to Trade for 3rd-Year Quarterback, Outbid by Division Rival

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams found themselves needing once again to find a quarterback to backup Matthew Stafford. Many assumed Carson Wentz to be re-signed in free agency. As days passed, qualified candidates came off the free agency board, leading many to wonder which direction they would take to address the position. Eventually, they landed on Jimmy Garoppolo, but it now appears that they were in talks with the Washington Commanders to acquire former 2022 5th-round draft pick Sam Howell.

Los Angeles Rams in the trade market for Sam Howell

NFL: Washington Commanders at Los Angeles Rams
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the Puck Sports podcast, Mike Garofolo said,

[Seattle Seahawks] outbid the Rams, who I know that there was a strong feeling from the Rams coaching staff that they wanted Sam Howell badly. They they really liked him, so the Seahawks were able to outbid them. So that’s good. You got him. You also kept him away from a team that really could have used him as a potential successor.

Howell was traded to Seattle for third-round pick No. 78 and fifth No. 152 rounds. Seattle also received a fourth-round draft pick (No. 102 overall) and a sixth-rounder (No. 179). The Rams had the draft capital to at least match that, but it would have left them with one pick between the second round and fifth round. They traded their 2024 fourth to Pittsburgh for Kevin Dotson.

Howell took over as the full-time starter for the Commanders in 2023. He got off to a rocky start but found his stride at times, at one point leading the league in passing yards. He threw for 3946 yards 21 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He also ran for 263 yards and five touchdowns. He finished the regular season with 65 sacks, the most in the league.

Sean McVay got an up-close look at the 6’1″ 220 lbs former Tar Heel in Week 15. Howell had a terrible game, going 11 for 26 for 102 yards, a TD, and an interception, and was benched after throwing a pick in the 4th quarter.

Finding Stafford’s Successor

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Expert Names Los Angeles Rams Favorite Landing Spot For 1st Round QB

The topic of Matthew Stafford’s successor has been bandied about and it seems it is on the mind of at least some of the Rams front office. Many draftniks have mocked a quarterback to the Rams in the first three rounds. Garofolo suggested that is what this trade was an attempt to do.

The last few backup quarterback signings, including Garoppolo, have been fueled by the idea of having a qualified player who can keep them competitive if Stafford misses time. That was the case when they signed Baker Mayfield in 2022 and Carson Wentz in 2023.

Obviously, the Rams wouldn’t offer draft capital to a player they didn’t believe had the chops to do at least that. But the successor talk will have to wait until the NFL Draft starts at the end of the month.