Dwayne Haskins never had a shot.
With the news that last year's No. 15 overall pick has dropped all the way to third on the Washington Football Team depth chart after what was arguably his best game as a starter, it's clear Ron Rivera never saw Haskins as the future at quarterback.
This move was inevitable, and this signals the end of the Haskins era in Washington.
Rivera never sounded excited to have Haskins as his starter from the moment he came to D.C., and it never really seemed to change week by week either.
"It’s a tough situation. We’re looking at our circumstances right now as a football team,' Rivera said earlier this week about Haskins. "We’re in a very interesting situation right now."
When someone asks you how married life is going and you say "we’re in a very interesting situation right now", that's usually a sign that couples counseling may be on the horizon.
There was already a cloud hanging over this rocky relationship before that statement. Plus, just last week you had reports -- that now prove to be true by the way -- that Haskins could soon be benched. The writing was always on the wall.
Rivera clearly had his doubts about him and Haskins didn't do enough to erase them.
Look, I've been on record saying Haskins wasn't the guy, but neither is Kyle Allen. I'd rather see Haskins get more consistent reps before this move is made. Exhaust every opportunity before moving on. The organization still wasted a first-round pick on him, and even though he wasn't your pick if you're Rivera, you have full freedom to use this entire season for serious evaluation.
Haskins was thrust into one of the most awkward situations you can be in. He's a struggling young quarterback that has a new head coach that didn't choose him. That usually brings very little room for error and it's clear Rivera was itching to make this change.
Everyone worries about impressing the new boss at work. You hope that you're "their guy". Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
Does the fact that the division is so awful -- and that a 1-3 record makes winning the NFC East still possible help -- influence this decision? Absolutely. Did that factor maybe even speed it along? Probably.
But when a quarterback is taken as high as Haskins was, he's an investment. Even if you inherit a young player like Haskins, you want him to work, because it's a lot easier to find out you have "the guy" already on your roster than knowing you have to use another first rounder to find "the guy" next season.
Especially when you have all the job security you can ask for.
Problem is, Dan Snyder is apparently the only person left in the building that thought Haskins was the future. He shoved Haskins down Jay Gruden's throat, and Rivera clearly isn't going to let that happen on his watch too.
Many people were left wondering why Rivera would use that late fourth-and-13 play to "test" his quarterback. Did he want to put him in position for a last-ditch chance to show some real game-changing ability? Or did Rivera want to pile up even more concrete evidence to point to and say "see, I told ya so"?
The reality of this now is that Rivera has shown he doesn't want the relationship to continue. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it's Allen and Alex Smith the rest of the way.
That leads to yet another offseason with quarterback questions in Washington, and the likelihood they're back searching for their future in the draft in 2021.
Ron Rivera came to D.C. to change the culture, and we knew there would be decisions that would ruffle some feathers.
This was the biggest statement so far that it's his team, and he's running it the way he wants to.