The Washington Football Team released former first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins on Monday, ending a run that was met with reported issues off the field and mediocre play on it.
The move comes mere days after he was fined $40,000 and stripped of his captaincy following a trip to a nightclub in which he was spotted without wearing a mask. Under the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, going to a nightclub without wearing personal protective equipment is punishable by a maximum fine of one week’s salary or up to a four-game suspension.
Haskins started on Sunday in place of an injured Alex Smith before being benched in the fourth quarter. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
“This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him,” coach Ron Rivera 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.”
Haskins, 23, completed 148 of 241 pass attempts for 1,439 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He also fumbled six times. He was 1-5 as a starter.
Haskins has thrown for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in two seasons since being selected by Washington out of Ohio State with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“My time with the WFT has unfortunately come to an end,” Haskins wrote on his private Twitter account, per ESPN.com. “I thank the team & fans for the opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for. I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB & will become a better man & player because of this experience.”
Washington is hopeful that Smith will return for its season finale on Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia. Rivera said earlier Monday that Taylor Heinicke would be the backup or start if Smith couldn’t play. A win will put Washington in the playoffs, and a loss eliminates the team.
Former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III took to social media to console Haskins after his release.
“Wishing the best for (Haskins). You are only 23! Learn from this and bounce back,” Griffin wrote on Twitter.
Haskins was fined earlier this season for making a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel the night before a game.
He also was benched after throwing his first career 300-yard game in a 31-17 loss to Baltimore in Week 4, with that decision reportedly coming after people felt he was celebrating the personal feat in the locker room.
–Field Level Media