Dwayne Haskins is done in the nation’s capital. The former No. 15-overall pick has been the center of both controversy off of the field and continued poor play on it, and head coach Ron Rivera has seen enough, as Washington released the quarterback. Having initially demoted Haskins to third string earlier this season, Rivera gave him another shot at starter in the wake of the calf injury that sidelined Alex Smith. Haskins went on to lose both outings and was benched Sunday for backup Taylor Heinicke, whom Washington will — if Smith can’t return.
For Haskins, it’s a decision that placed him back at third string, but only momentarily. Not long after Rivera made the announcement on Heinicke, the team released Haskins outright, ending his short and increasingly toxic stint in Washington.
Rivera issued an official statement on the release:
«This afternoon, I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him. I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways. We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward.»
Haskins also released a statement following the move, via Twitter:
«My time with the WFT has unfortunately come to an end. I thank the team and fans for the opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for. I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of [an] NFL QB, and I will become a better man and player because of this experience.»
Haskins will now enter waivers, and any team that claims him will be on the hook for $68,000 for Week 17 and approximately $4.3 million fully guaranteed over the remainder of his contract, per Dan Graziano of ESPN. That’s a hard sell for any club, and especially given the variables surrounding his exit from Washington. Haskins was recently fined for a second time this season after being caught at an exotic club following the Week 15 loss without wearing a mask, his second violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocol, and one that led to Washington mulling his release before deciding to instead start him against the Panthers; after stripping him of his captain’s status.
The 23-year-old issued a public apology, but it did nothing to smooth Rivera’s feathers.
Haskins’ future in Washington might’ve ultimately been saved (or at least lengthened) had he been competitive against Carolina, but he finished with 154 passing yards and a passer rating of 36.9 with two interceptions and no touchdowns before being sat down. Haskins didn’t fare much better with his previous coach, Jay Gruden, who refused to start him for much of his rookie year, leading to reports of a rift between Gruden and owner Dan Snyder over the expectations of the young QB. Only 18 months after he got the call as the 15th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Haskins is on the move. He leaves Washington with a 3-10 career record as a starter, having thrown for just 2,804 yards with 14 interceptions to 12 touchdowns.
There is no word on who will now be the third string QB behind Smith and Heinicke, but the honor could slide to Steven Montez — an undrafted rookie out of Colorado. The team currently has no quarterbacks on the 16-man practice squad, making a potential free agency add a possibility, especially if they can secure their playoff seat in the regular season finale.