The Washington Football Team is juggling a difficult situation at quarterback entering Week 16, which precipitated the need to keep embattled quarterback Dwayne Haskins around after he again violated COVID-19 protocols, but sources say that it is virtually certain he will not be back in 2021.
Haskins had asked for a trade earlier in the season, following his benching in the first month of the season, sources said, and the WFT was willing to move him then but there was a limited-at-best market. That market is likely to be even more constrained in 2021, with most teams expecting him to be released this offseason after a highly-tumultuous two seasons in Washington since being selected in the first round by a prior regime.
Sources said there has been no shortage of tough love for the young quarterback this week since images of him violating protocols surfaced on social media, and it's viewed as a fait accompli inside and outside that building that his time there is coming to an end after being stripped of his captaincy and fined $40,000.
However, there are concerns about Alex Smith's calf injury -- and his right leg in general after facing life-threatening and career-threatening surgeries in the past -- and Haskins is the only other experienced QB available on the roster right now.
Washington is still in a position to win the NFC East, and while Haskins struggled in the first half last week he did help get the team back into a position to potentially beat Seattle. Smith has been limited at practice and even if he can start, Haskins could very well be called upon to play. He is aware that his best chance to find suitors next season would be by putting together the best game film possible in whatever role he serves, which still could include appearing in the postseason with the rest of the league watching.
Regardless, even flashing well down the stretch would not be enough to create a scenario where he is back in Washington next season. His initial impressions with Ron Rivera and this coaching staff were shaky at best, he did not inspire much optimism in the summer and he was put on notice of a possible benching just a few games into the season. The team's unexpected playoff surge began when Smith was deemed healthy enough to take over, and Haskins has few true advocates in football operations, sources said, besides former Washington QB Doug Williams, who serves as the team's senior vice president of player development.