There’s no debating that the marriage of Dwayne Haskins and the Washington Football Team was always a rocky one, but many are still yet to make sense of how the 23-year-old former Buckeye who amassed a 50-touchdown season in 2018 for Ohio State never quite hit a stride in the NFL.
The next and most obvious question regarding Haskins will be what is in store for his football future, and truthfully, that is up to the other 31 NFL teams to decide.
Young quarterbacks are supposed to struggle, the jump from the college game to the NFL game is a tremendous one. And there is no one doubting Haskins ability on the field, there were moments during his 16 game sample size with Washington that will lead another team to take a chance him, but it may not be for his current contract.
In 2019, Washington spent a 1st round pick on Haskins, who at the time was just a sophomore coming off a season in which he finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. Many said another year at Ohio State would greatly benefit Haskins, but instead he opted to forgo the rest of his eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Haskins rookie contract came in at 4 years and $14.4 million dollars, fully guaranteed.
What Comes Next?
The release should come as a wake up call to Haskins who has now burned his first bridge in the NFL. Despite Washington making a change at head coach at the end of last season, incoming head coach Ron Rivera held steady on Haskins and let him keep the starting job, but the QB room remained full with veteran Alex Smith who was coming off a gruesome injury several seasons ago, and Kyle Allen, a QB that was familiar with Rivera from their time in Carolina.
Haskins started six games in 2020, posting a stat line of five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Interceptions were always a problem for Haskins as he acclimated his game to the NFL.
But perhaps the biggest question mark with Haskins has nothing to do with football at all, and that’s maturity.
There’s no denying Haskins has a long way to go if he wants to get another shot at being a starter in the NFL. Maturity stands out to me as Haskins greatest weakness, his unwillingness to understand, his ignorance and selfishness that got him here.
To be out on the town during the season, in a worldwide health crisis is irresponsible. To have video and pictures make their way onto social media channels in which he himself is tagged in, and his company around him is dawning his No. 7 jersey is laughable.
Go a step further and look at what he is risking. From a micro view, he risking catching COVID 19 and missing time for Washington who finds themselves in a divisional race with a home playoff game at stake. He would likely recover like several other NFL caliber athletes have this season and be back to normal in a few weeks, but what would it cost him?
From a macro view, he puts everyone around him at risk of catching COVID 19, none more important than Rivera, his head coach, who has spent this season getting treatments and battling squamous cell carcinoma, a type of lymph node cancer. Coach Rivera certainly finds himself in a high risk category.
What did Haskins have to gain from that outing?
My expectation is that Haskins clears waivers without a single claim. The league certainly respects Rivera and respects his toughness and what he has accomplished leading Washington while courageously fighting cancer. That almost seems given. Haskins will not be heard from for the rest of week 17 and the playoffs, no matter how far Washington makes it.
Going forward, it should take some time for Haskins to grasp what he’s now given up. But with age comes maturity as long as he commits to himself. With a skill set like Haskins’ I’d be hard pressed to say you’ll never hear from him again. He will land somewhere, depending on interest, it could be in the XFL in 2021.
This is a developing story. As soon as news breaks on the future of Haskins the story will be updated with new information.
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