If you don’t follow NFL football, quite a big – and surprising – event took place on the Washington Redskins. First round draft pick from 2019 (pick 15!) Dwayne Haskins was cut/waived. Before week 15 of 2020, the Redskins just needed to beat the Seattle Seahawks to nigh on clinch a division title. Veteran QB Alex Smith had been injured and Haskins had his second opportunity to earn a starting job. Haskins played poorly, throwing two interceptions to lose a game that the defense had otherwise won, holding Russell Wilson to 20 points.
After that home game, Haskins went out to a local strip club to celebrate his girlfriend’s birthday in his Bentley (the car of choice for criminal department store owners and first round draft picks). Highlight from the ill advised How Dwayne Haskins Spent His First $1M video below: “The first thing I asked my agent, like ‘I’m drafted now so when do I get paid’.”
When the photos came out on social media of Haskins in the strip club and hanging in an expensive hotel room with six party girls, scandal erupted.
If the Redskins had won the game, thanks to Haskins amazing play, no doubt team management and fans would have been forgiving. On the other hand, Haskins lost a big game due to poor preparation. He should have been going home to study the playbook, think about what he can do better.
When Haskins’ strip club sortie story broke on Tuesday 22 December, many argued that Haskins should have been suspended or cut immediately.
The Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos have all lost games due to position devastation due to Covid-19 quarantine. For his selfish pleasure, Haskins risked making it impossible for the Redskins to win a division title. As many people have pointed out, Washington head coach Ron Rivera recently completed chemotherapy and is high risk of dying of Covid-19 if he contracts it. This is Haskins’ second significant Covid protocol violation.
With Alex Smith unable to play due to injury, Kyle Allen out for the season and just some developmental rookies on the practice squad, Rivera decided it would be better to fine Haskins, take away his captaincy and play him on December 27 against his old team, the Carolina Panthers.
“It gave us our best chance to win, it wouldn’t be fair to the other 52 players not to take our best chance.
It was Haskins last chance to shine and earn a third chance at becoming the Redskins starting QB. His head again was not in the game. After throwing two interceptions, fumbling the ball and earning a passer rating of 36.9 (70 is the start of acceptable, 90 is the target), Haskins was pulled. His journeyman replacement who was studying mathematics at night school at Old Dominion, came in to throw for a touchdown and bring the Redskins to within one touchdown in the 20-13 loss (passer rating 102) in less than a quarter.
There are a few brave souls out there willing to defend Haskins. rct writes:
For everyone mocking him and writing him off after only 13 starts, go look at his stats, then compare them to another ‘project’ first-round QB’s stats: Josh Allen’s. Haskins through 13 games played way better than Allen did in his rookie season. The difference? The Bills properly developed Allen, surrounded him with talent and leadership and good coaching, and now in his third season, he’s flourishing. WFT decided not to do any of that and now they’ve officially wasted a first round pick.
It’s not the play which got Haskins canned – heavens now, teams don’t just throw away a first round pick – it’s the attitude. I guess you haven’t watched many Redskins games this year. Haskins has been pouting at the sidelines in most of them. Or last year, interacting with the fans. Haskins doesn’t want to learn: he never needed to up until now. He was the star because he could throw a football sixty yards and take an NCAA hit.
Succeeding in the NFL takes a lot more work. Everyone is a star. The only two QB’s in the NFL who could still start without hard work would be Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Their natural gifts and feel for the game are high enough. And you’ll probably find that both of them still work very hard at the job of being QB.
One more exception – and this one suggests that sometime somewhere there’s hope that Haskins might play again – Big Ben on the Steelers doesn’t train in the off-season, doesn’t watch his diet and often doesn’t practice. And he has a history of making off the field mistakes as well. Roethlisberger also has a history of poisoning the atmosphere with hard-working and dedicated teammates. Despite some big games, the Killer Bees were dysfunctional as a group. Not sure how much of that to pin on Big Ben.
Roethlisberger did openly come out in an interview in 2018 and say he would never mentor a young QB for the Steelers (Mason Rudolph was the candidate at that time).
There is a chance for a Haskins rebound somewhere. Based on his (in)ability to read a defense and his reluctance to prepare for a game, it would have to be a simple scheme with a rock solid offensive line out in front of him. The old game of QB statue features only two starters at this point, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers (reviewing the stats, Brees and Brady are not pure pocket passers but limited mobility QB’s who don’t often rush but who regularly move around outside of the pocket). So it’s a rare team that who would want a QB like Dwayne Haskins. There are still two, the Steelers and the Colts.
The Colts immobile QB scheme doesn’t consistently work and they probably don’t want to double down on it when Rivers leaves at the end of this year or next. That leaves just Mike Tomlinson and the Pittsburgh Steelers as a market of one. With a bit of effort young Haskins will feel right at home and even enjoy veteran mentorship, though Haskins best potential contract and lifestyle mentor has moved on.
Seriously though, for now, Haskins has a market of one. Will Mike Tomlinson take a flyer on Haskins? Will Big Ben share his secrets of how to succeed as an NFL quarterback with limited intellect, very little mobility and a lazy attitude?