Following the 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Washington Football Team has decided to officially bring the Dwayne Haskins Jr. era to an unceremonious end as they have opted to waive their former first-round pick after just a little under two years in the league.
Washington has released QB Dwayne Haskins, per me and @TomPelissero.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 28, 2020
We have released QB Dwayne Haskins pic.twitter.com/KRrWxWra7E— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) December 28, 2020
In his Washington tenure, Haskins played in just 16 games, starting 13, while posting a 3-10-0 record with a 267-of-444 for 2,804 passing line with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The 2020 season has been a disappointment for the second-year signal-caller out of Ohio State University, as he posted a 1-5 record and a paltry 30.7 quarterback rating. In addition, Haskins completed just 26.8% of his passes on throws over ten yards down the field this season, which represents the worst total of any NFL quarterback over the last decade.
Haskins began the season as the starting quarterback and was voted captain by his teammates, but since then has seen a precipitous fall from grace under head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera, who has stated that his goal this season was to build a winning culture in D.C., benched Haskins and demoted him to third-string after a week 5 loss to the Rams, paving the way for Alex Smith’s eventual return from a long-term leg injury suffered in 2018. After being demoted and made inactive, Haskins missed several days of practice with an illness and reportedly requested a trade from the team, though reporting suggested that no teams were interested in acquiring him prior to the November 3rd trade deadline.
Perhaps more notable than his on-the-field performances was the attention Haskins attracted off the field, as he was recently photographed maskless at a party crowded with people and apparently with strippers for entertainment after he lost his first game back as a starter in a week 15 loss against the Seattle Seahawks. The pictures were posted to social media, where they gained a lot of attention. Haskins was subsequently stripped of his captaincy and was fined $40,000 by the team for violating COVID-19 protocols for the incident.
It appears the final straw was Haskins’ lackluster performance against the Panthers, in which he went 14-of-28 for 154 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions before he was pulled from the contest in the fourth quarter in favor of Taylor Heinicke, who had been on the practice squad up until this week. Following the loss, in violation of NFL rules mandating that the starting quarterback be made available to speak to the media, Haskins did not make himself available for questions and instead left the building while the team’s PR department was unable to reach him. He was eventually contacted and conducted an interview via video conference from his home while wearing a mask.
In a statement, coach Rivera said, “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.”
Despite a guaranteed losing record following the loss to Carolina, Washington’s playoffs hopes are still alive. They can still clinch their first division championship since 2015 next week on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, though it is yet unclear who will start under center in that pivotal contest.
Once highly touted for his big arm and ability to win games in college, in addition to his strong local ties, Dwayne Haskins was ultimately unable to perform up to first-round expectations in Washington. Once believed destined to become the next Washington Football Team franchise quarterback, Haskins is now left to search elsewhere for another NFL opportunity while his now-former team once again goes back to the drawing board to find their quarterback of the future.
Wishing the best for @dh_simba7— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) December 28, 2020
You are only 23! Learn from this and bounce back
Updated at 1:42 pm ET: Statement from Dwayne Haskins Jr. via his private social media account:
This is a breaking story and may be updated over the course of the day.