The Washington Football Team benched Dwayne Haskins after four games this season and it became quite obvious the quarterback was upset with his demotion to third-string.
Less obvious, however, was if Haskins wanted out.
There was a vague ESPN report before the NFL Trade Deadline that Haskins and his representatives would like a fresh start and subsequently there was lots of reporting that Washington would consider trade offers for Haskins, the 15th overall pick in the 2019 Draft, though a trade never occurred.
There was never concrete evidence that Haskins wanted a trade, though for former Washington Football cornerback and Pro Bowler Shawn Springs, the quarterback wanted a new home.
“I think that was public knowledge,” Springs said. “I think that his agent might have asked for a trade.”
Springs comments came via The Kevin Sheehan Show on Team 980 Thursday morning, and they come from a person with intimate knowledge of the second-year QB. Springs has served as a mentor for Haskins for more than a decade and is close with the Haskins family.
“I think Dwayne likes being here in Washington,” Springs said. “He just wants to be somewhere where he feels like he’s appreciated, he’s happy, he’s learning. For him it’s just having somebody that wants to invest in him.”
It’s hard to know what will happen next with Haskins and the Washington Football Team.
Veteran QB Alex Smith started last week in Detroit and played at a high level, throwing for 390 yards with no turnovers. If Smith continues at that pace, he’s not moving from the starting role.
In his four starts this season, Haskins completed 61 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and three interceptions while averaging about 235 yards-per-game. The stats were mediocre, not bad though not good.
The problems for Haskins came from his unwillingness to put extra work in, or at least that was the perception from head coach Ron Rivera.
Springs said that Rivera is now giving Haskins a chance to change his practice and study habits, but the young quarterback needs to adhere to what the head coach wants.
“I can’t go into the meetings rooms and stay extra on Tuesday. I can only tell you that you’re dealing with a coach that’s what he likes to see,” Springs said he told Haskins.
Tuesday is the off-day across the NFL, but for quarterbacks, there are no off days. That’s just the way the league is.
“Whether you get it or not, your career is on the line,” Springs said. “It’s in the public eye, it’s in the media, the coach has said what he needs to see from the kid.”
Springs played in the NFL for 13 seasons. He was the third overall pick out of Ohio State in 1997. He knows what it takes to last in professional football, and he’s trying to impart that wisdom on Haskins.
“If you don’t get it you might not be in Washington and if it continues to happen around the league you might not be in the league,” Springs said.
There is a lot to consider in the Haskins situation, an inexperienced player drafted into a bad scene last year. 2020 was supposed to mark a new chapter with Haskins teamed up with Rivera, and both player and coach spoke well of each other early on in Washington.
Clearly things have soured since, and to Springs, it’s time for Haskins to be a pro.
“When a person becomes a pro, you have to earn that title of becoming a pro. My dad was in the NFL, and I was in the NFL, but there’s nothing my dad could do to help me in the NFL.”