ASHBURN, VA. The Washington Football Team released quarterback Dwayne Haskins the day after his loss to the Carolina Panthers – and hours after he was demoted less than a month ago to a player who was inducted into the practice group.
In a statement, Washington coach Ron Rivera said he met with Haskins on Monday to brief him on his decision.
“I told him that I believe it will benefit both parties that we go our separate ways. We would like to thank Dwayne for his contributions over the past two seasons and wish him all the best for the future.”
in the a tweetHaskins wrote, “I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of an NFL QB and for making a better man and player because of that experience.”
Two hours earlier, Rivera announced in his video conference that Washington would start Taylor Heinicke if Alex Smith couldn’t play at the season finale in Philadelphia on Sunday. Washington (6-9) can win NFC East with a win.
The release was another step in Haskins’ death since he was drafted to 15th overall by Washington in 2019.
Haskins will count $ 8.5 million in dead-cap space next year. Rivera notified owner Dan Snyder of his desire to move on from Haskins late Monday morning and received the green light to move.
Haskins received support from former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, who tweeted, “You’re only 23! Learn from it and recover.”
I wish the best for @ dh_simba7
You are only 23! Learn from it and relax
– Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) December 28, 2020
Rivera hinted at a possible move during his press meeting.
“Sometimes you have to take hard hits. Sometimes you have to bottom out before you can work your way out. Sometimes a change helps,” said Rivera. “Dwayne says, What have you learned? What will you learn from these experiences that will help you grow and get better? That’s the big thing about him, and what he hopefully learns from those experiences. Hopefully They will make him stronger and help him, and hopefully he will make the most of it when he gets his next opportunity. “
The release comes a week after a maskless Haskins was photographed with strippers at his girlfriend’s birthday party, hours after losing to Seattle. Washington fined Haskins $ 40,000 for his second breach of the COVID-19 protocols and took away his captain. Earlier in the season, Haskins was fined for making a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel the night before a game in New York. There was a feeling that gambling in his hometown might not help Haskins and created too many distractions.
If Haskins had produced in the field, Washington would not have taken such a step with any of this. But he couldn’t produce and was played out by Heinicke on Sunday. The team was frustrated that Haskins was going to miss his progress and how he had established safeguards – subtle but important parts of the position. He would torture with good quarters and get into a rhythm reminiscent of his time in Ohio when he threw 50 touchdowns on eight interceptions in 2018.
Haskins started the first four games in Washington this season but was suspended after a 30-10 loss to Baltimore. The coaches didn’t like the way he prepared during the week, and they said it fell way below the standards for an NFL quarterback. After that game in Baltimore where Haskins had his first 300 yard passing game, several people said they felt he was going to celebrate the feat in the locker room. The next day Rivera announced his bank.
Haskins was third-string behind Kyle Allen and Smith for the next four games. But when Allen broke his ankle on November 8th, Haskins became the primary backup. Although his preparation had improved over the week, team sources said it still had not reached the level he wanted – and that it would take time to really help him.
Haskins played 15 games in two seasons with Washington and achieved an overall QBR of 29.4 – the league average for that time was 63.5. He threw 12 touchdown passes on 14 interceptions.
Haskins’ time in Washington started out somewhat controversially when the Boy Scouts and coaches campaigned for him to be inducted in the 15th election – but Snyder wanted him. Haskins was a big local name after playing three seasons at Bullis High School. Snyder’s son is currently in the same high school, but had only met Haskins shortly before the draft.
Washington’s coaches have been informed by Ohio state coaches that they must be patient with Haskins. He had just started 14 games in college and surprised the Buckeyes coaches by signing up for the draft.
According to its design, the organization preached patience. Several members of the team said Haskins had to sit all season as he learned more about not only Washington’s misdemeanor but also about playing quarterback at the NFL level. They emphasized that he had to learn how to call games in a crowd and, among other things, read defenses faster.
By the end of the season, when Washington finished 3-13, Haskins had become the starter. He showed improvement despite several coaches saying they were concerned about how hard it was for them to get him to prepare the way they wanted to.
But when Rivera was hired, he told Snyder they had a plan to help Haskins out. Rivera later said former Ohio state coach Urban Meyer, who coached Haskins in college, said they had to challenge him. Rivera spoke about Haskin’s talent, but also emphasized a desire to become a stronger leader. Washington liked the way Haskins behaved in the off-season that he became captain.
However, Rivera also said if there had been a normal preseason he would have opened the starting job for a contest with Allen and even Smith, who at the time was still shaking the rust off his broken leg in 2018.
But Rivera was always fixated on what others were before him: Haskins’ physical characteristics. That’s why other teams will be fascinated by the 23-year-old.
“Well, like I’ve always said, you watch his talent and you see his arm,” said Rivera. “That’s what I think is his most redeeming quality as a quarterback, which I think is probably the most important.”