Washington Football benched Dwayne Haskins after a Week 4 loss to the Ravens and the quarterback has missed extensive time since his benching due to a stomach illness.
Things are not going great between the organization and the 2019 first-rounder, and plenty of people think the best thing for Haskins would be a fresh start before the NFL Trade Deadline in a few weeks.
ESPN recently put together a series of hypothetical NFL trades including moves for the Washington Football Team with the headliner sending Haskins to Pittsburgh in exchange for cornerback Justin Layne and a fourth-round pick.
Haskins realistically needs time to go develop behind an established quarterback, which is why the Steelers could make sense. Ben Roethlisberger looks solid in his age-38 season, but he is close to the end of his career. Mason Rudolph showed little filling in for Roethlisberger last season, and he is about to enter the final year of his rookie deal. Layne, a third-rounder in 2019, is at the bottom of a deep cornerback room in Pittsburgh and hasn't played a single defensive snap as a pro. Layne and a fourth-round pick might not seem like much value for a 2019 first-rounder, but Washington hasn't done much to make Haskins look valuable.
That's a lot to take in but one thing is for sure: Washington hasn't made Haskins look valuable by moving him to third-string, and it's debatable how valuable Haskins has made himself look being drafted by Washington.
This trade would obviously be an incredible admission of guilt by Washington. No 15th-overall selection should be moved 18 months later for a third-round corner and a future fourth-rounder. That shouldn't happen, and it shows a very bad selection.
Yet, considering how nuclear things seem to be between Washington and Haskins, the reality is that deal seems realistic.
Haskins never got a fair shake in Washington.
The coaching staff last year didn't want him, and in 2020, Covid ruined any chance of offseason development. It also doesn't help that Washington is in the midst of a dramatic rebuild with major holes on offense. Still, other young quarterbacks are able to flourish in similarly bad situations. Haskins hasn't.
It's a chicken and egg situation between Washington and Haskins that looks like it will have no easy answer. Maybe a trade, like this one to Pittsburgh, is the best idea for all parties.
Elsewhere on the ESPN list is a trade of veteran pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan to San Francisco in exchange for receiver Dante Pettis and a 2020 fifth-round pick. Here's the explanation:
Speaking of the Niners, they badly need short-term help on the edge, with Nick Bosa and Dee Ford both on injured reserve. Most teams aren't willing to trade away effective veteran edge rushers, but Washington is rebuilding and has one in Kerrigan, who has a little over $8 million in salary left in the final year of his deal. The 49ers would have to clear out some cap space to make this trade work, which they could do by extending Richard Sherman or Kyle Juszczyk or via restructuring Jimmy Garoppolo's deal. In return, Washington could buy low on a weapon for their various quarterbacks by going after Pettis, who has barely been seen since a promising 2018 season.
This seems hard to pull off with the Niners only having $4 million in cap space. Sure, they could move some numbers around to make room, but it's not simple.
Losing Kerrigan would really sting for a Washington fanbase without a lot of familiar names anymore too. It might make sense in the bigger sense of a rebuild, but considering Pettis might be dealing with a knee injury, this seems to help San Francisco far more than Washington.
Either way, trade season is coming to the NFL. Of all the major sports leagues, pro football typically has the least big-name action at the deadline, but Washington has never quite been in a situation like this.
Ron Rivera has already made some big trades - Trent Williams, Quinton Dunbar - so don't be surprised if Riverboat Ron decides to roll the dice a few more times in the coming weeks.