Washington releases Dwayne Haskins to end week-long saga

Dwayne Haskins won’t have another chance in the nation’s capital, as the Washington Football Team released the former first-round quarterback on Monday.

The move comes hours after head coach Ron Rivera said Taylor Heinicke, and not Haskins, will get the start if Alex Smith (calf) is unable to play in the regular-season finale.

“This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him,” River said in a statement. “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.”

It is the end of a long week for Haskins. After last weekend’s loss, Haskins was photographed at a party without a mask and was fined a reported $40,000. He was also stripped of his captaincy. Then he was benched in favor of Heinicke during the Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers.


Haskins, 23, was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 draft. He started 13 games in less than two seasons with the franchise. Haskins is 3-10 as a starter, with 2,804 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

The Washington Football Team released quarterback Dwayne Haskins, their first-round draft pick in 2019. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
The Washington Football Team released quarterback Dwayne Haskins, their first-round draft pick in 2019. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Haskins lost starting job multiple times

Haskins began the season as the starter ahead of Smith and Kyle Allen, but was benched after four rough games and dropped to third string.

When Allen sustained a gruesome leg injury in Week 9, Rivera turned to Smith, who himself had a horrible leg injury that forced him to miss all of 2019 and threatened his career. Smith remained the starter until hurting his calf in Week 14. Haskins got the starting job again for Weeks 15 and 16.

It has been downhill for Haskins in that time both on and off the field. He was replaced for a third time on Monday morning with Heinicke, a former XFL player who reportedly was preparing for final exams at Old Dominion when Washington called.

‘Hardest week’ for Haskins continues

The on-field struggles were only part of the headlines for the past eight days. After the Week 15 loss, Haskins was photographed partying at a club without a mask. It was reportedly a strip club, which Haskins has denied. He said he was at a private party.

Haskins apologized for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols by attending a gathering without a mask. He was stripped of his captaincy by Rivera and reportedly fined $40,000, the largest known individual fine of the season for a COVID violation.

After the poor showing and benching in Week 16, Haskins left the Washington facility without doing his media session. The team’s PR staff tracked him down and Haskins did talk with reporters, calling it “the hardest week of my life.”

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