Dwayne Haskins trade rumors have started to heat up following the Washington Football Team quarterback’s demotion from starter to third-team on the depth chart. But will be traded before the NFL trade deadline on November 3? There are lots of layers to unpack in all of this so let’s take a look at Haskins’ short time in Washington and what his future might hold.
How did Haskins and the Washington Football Team get in this spot?
Haskins was drafted out of Ohio State with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after a sophomore season that saw him throw for 50 touchdowns. Given the investment, expectations were high that he would be the franchise’s starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, but those expecting him to hit the ground running will have been disappointed.
Haskins began his rookie season behind veteran journeyman Case Keenum and, while he did take over the starting job following a concussion to Keenum, his rookie season never really got off the ground despite late improvements.
Following the departures of head coach Jay Gruden and then interim head coach Bill Callahan, Haskins was left to wait and see who would be brought in to spearhead the new regime. Unfortunately for Haskins, the answer was former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who brought Scott Turner with him as offensive coordinator.
Haskins was named the starter to begin the 2020 season, but it always felt as if his time was going to be numbered barring something remarkable. Upon arriving in Washington, one of the regime’s first moves was to trade a fifth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for Kyle Allen, who started 12 games last season in the same system that Turner was looking to implement.
Interest was also growing in the return of three-time Pro Bowler Alex Smith, who had been brought in as the team’s starter prior to his career-threatening injury, and the team was clearly keen to make his recovery more than just a preseason feelgood story.
As it happened, Haskins’ 2020 season lasted only four games. After falling to a 1-3 record, the team announced that Kyle Allen would be the starter for Week 5 and Alex Smith would be the backup. Haskins would be inactive on game day and trade rumors began to swirl.
Should Dwayne Haskins be traded?
Haskins has performed as most young quarterbacks do. After just one year of starting in college, he joined a dysfunctional franchise devoid of offensive talent and was unable to provide the spark to change their fortunes. If the team decides that it wants to see what Smith can do, then that’s understandable. But Kyle Allen has shown little to suggest that he should be above Haskins on the depth chart.
Given that Smith is 36 with a devastating injury in his past, it would have probably made sense for Washington to cut Haskins more slack so that they could do a more thorough evaluation on him. He’s 23 years old and has played just 13 games, throwing 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions since the team spent a first-round pick on him, but very little remains of the staff who made that investment.
One of the first things that a new regime wants to do is put their own stamp on things and one of the first things that a new coaching staff wants to do is to install their own system. Rivera and Turner look as if they’ve decided that Haskins isn’t going to be a fit and, as the depth chart stands, he looks to have little opportunity to change their mind.
If Washington believes they can get a high enough draft pick for a player who is yet to prove himself a capable starter in the NFL, then it makes sense that they look to capitalize on that.
What is Haskins’ trade value?
That’s more difficult to say. The Arizona Cardinals were able to recoup a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick for Josh Rosen, who found himself in a similar situation after a year with the franchise. It’s difficult to imagine many teams looking at that deal and wanting to replicate it, though, with Rosen currently sitting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad just a year after the Miami Dolphins sent those two draft picks to Arizona for the former first-round pick.
Given where we are in the season, it seems unlikely that a team will be looking to invest heavily in their quarterback position. The structure of Haskins’ rookie deal does make his contract affordable, though, as Washington is on the hook for Haskins’ signing bonus, which sits at just over $2.1 million per year. Haskins will carry a very manageable cap hit for the remainder of this season and the following two seasons before the team has to make a decision on his fifth-year option.
There should be enough intrigue in a former first-round pick that somebody will be interested at the right price, but that price may not be more than a day three pick at this stage.
Who could trade for Dwayne Haskins?
As of this moment, we haven’t heard of any interest. But Dwayne Haskins trade rumors will persist for as long as he isn’t playing. Given the overall strength of the quarterback position across the league, it seems unlikely that he’d be brought in to even compete for playing time this season.
Haskins’ best situation would be a team with an aging quarterback where he could learn the ropes for a season or two before having the opportunity to step in. The Pittsburgh Steelers have little behind Ben Roethlisberger, despite making multiple attempts to upgrade their backup position. Neither Mason Rudolph nor Joshua Dobbs has proven themselves capable replacements and Haskins could certainly add depth.
Elsewhere, the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both have legendary quarterbacks who could decide to retire after the season. Philip Rivers is on a one-year deal and the Colts have seen enough of his backup, Jacoby Brissett, to establish that he’s not an option long-term. The Bucs, on the other hand, have a stable of draft busts behind Tom Brady with Blaine Gabbert as his backup and the aforementioned Josh Rosen on the practice squad. Ryan Griffin, the other QB on the active roster, is 30 years old and has never started a game.
These Dwayne Haskins trade rumors should get louder as we get nearer to the November 3 NFL trade deadline and teams get a better idea of their situations and which holes they’re looking to fill. The Washington Football Team looks to have made clear that Haskins’ long-term future lies outside of the nation’s capital, however.
Andy Gallagher is a writer for PFN. You can follow him @AndySGallagher on Twitter.