Dwayne Haskins

Trade Rumors: Giants, Ryan, Fuller

After dealing Markus Golden to the Cardinals, it appears the 1-6 Giants have officially declared themselves sellers at this year’s trade deadline. Though GM Dave Gettleman may be reluctant to trade away veteran talent that could theoretically help Big Blue win a few games — and perhaps save Gettleman’s job in the process — players like Evan Engram, Kevin Zeitler, and Golden Tate could be available, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes (though Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the club is unlikely to deal Engram).

2017 second-round DT Dalvin Tomlinson could also be on the move, per Dunleavy. Tomlinson is playing out the last year of his rookie contract, and while he has expressed interest in staying with the Giants long-term, there has been little progress in contract talks.

As we creep closer to the November 3 deadline, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league:

NFC East Notes: Haskins, Cowboys, Eagles

Dwayne Haskins‘ standing in the Washington organization has plummeted tremendously since the previous regime drafted him 15th overall last year. He is now the team’s third-string quarterback, with both Kyle Allen and Alex Smith leapfrogging him on the depth chart, and trade rumors have emerged. Haskins has clearly not impressed Washington’s coaching staff, and John Keim of ESPN.com notes last year’s staff took issue with the one-year Ohio State sensation as well. Both staffs have communicated concerns about Haskins’ work ethic to the quarterback. This concern surfaced early during Haskins’ rookie season, one that ended with the young passer ranking last in QBR by a considerable margin. Haskins has not made a trade request, and Washington has yet to field any trade calls on him, Keim adds. Although Ron Rivera has publicly backed Haskins, Keim notes both sides appear prepared to move on after one of the quicker auditions for a first-round quarterback in recent history.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Leighton Vander Esch is progressing closer to beating his recovery timetable. The Cowboys linebacker saw his first post-injury work in pads Friday, and NFL.com’s Jane Slater tweets the third-year defender could well be activated ahead of Monday’s game against the Cardinals. The Cowboys placed Vander Esch on IR after Week 1 because of a broken collarbone. Given a six- to eight-week timetable, Vander Esch returning Monday would mean a mere four-game absence. That would obviously be encouraging for a player who has seen injuries stall his promising career.
  • The Eagles‘ offensive line resides as one of the NFL’s most decimated position groups. Jason Peters, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo are on IR. The team declared Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson out for Week 6 with an ankle injury. While Johnson’s injury is not expected to require surgery, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter), he will rest it this week against the Ravens. Although Johnson not needing surgery represents good news, the Eagles are down to one original starter — center Jason Kelce — in their lineup against a top-tier Ravens defense.
  • One of the Eagles’ defensive depth pieces returned to practice this week. The Eagles opened Will Parks‘ 21-day activation window. The fifth-year safety has yet to debut for his hometown team. The Eagles placed Parks on IR before Week 1 because of a hamstring injury and have until 4pm CT Saturday to activate him for Week 6.
  • The Cowboys worked out defensive tackle Gabe Wright on Friday. Wright has not played in a regular-season game since the 2018 season. The former fourth-round pick has spent each of his four seasons with a different team — the Lions, Browns, Dolphins and Raiders. The team only has two defensive linemen on its practice squad.

Washington To Trade Dwayne Haskins?

Although Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins turned in a decent performance against the Ravens last week, head coach Ron Rivera elected to bench the 2019 first-rounder in favor of Kyle Allen. Not only that, Haskins is now the No. 3 QB on the team’s depth chart behind Allen and Alex Smith.

As one might expect, the relationship between Haskins and the WFT coaching staff has turned toxic, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes. The staff did not have a hand in drafting the Ohio State product, who was selected by the prior Washington regime, and as the QB3, Haskins will not get much practice time and will be a healthy scratch most weeks.

One of La Canfora’s sources, who has talked with numerous WFT staffers, said, “[w]hat they’ll tell you in that building is that [Haskins] is a project who was drafted by the owner and his son. That’s the bottom line there. Allen is their guy. They think he fits their system. They didn’t really want anything to do with Haskins from the beginning.”

Multiple sources within the organization believe that Haskins will be traded before the November 3 deadline, and those close to the second-year pro have told him that a trade would be the best outcome for him. At this point, it’s hard to argue with that, though it’s unclear who might be interested and what the trade compensation might be.

Because it plays in such a weak division, Washington believes it has a real chance to be a playoff contender this year. As such, Rivera would like to hand the reins to Smith sooner rather than later, as La Canfora details in a separate piece. The fact that Smith is on a football field at all is nothing short of a miracle, but the staff believes that with another couple of weeks of practice, the 36-year-old will be ready to start once again.

Smith has not played since November 18, 2018, the day he suffered the brutal leg injury that nearly cost him his life.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Washington To Bench Dwayne Haskins

The Washington Football Team is making a quarterback change. Former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins will be benched in favor of Kyle Allen, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweet. Furthermore, Haskins will be moved down to No. 3 on the QB depth chart with Alex Smith taking over as the primary backup. 

Washington tried to tailor the offense to Haskins’ strengths this offseason while giving him all of the first-string reps in practice. So far, that hasn’t panned out. After their comeback win over the Eagles to start the season, WFT has gone without a W in the last three games.

Haskins, the No. 15 overall pick of the 2019 draft, has been sacked a ton — the offensive line is partially to blame, though Haskins has not been able to locate his open targets quickly, either. Between his three interceptions and one fumble against the Browns, Haskins is coming off of a four-turnover game, one that may change the trajectory of his NFL career. All in all, Haskins has completed just 56.4% of his passes with four touchdowns against three INTs.

Washington is set to play the Ravens this week, presenting Allen with a tough task. But, after that, they have a fairly soft stretch that includes the Rams, Giants (2x), Cowboys, and Lions. Ron Rivera & Co. believe that Allen can take advantage of that stretch and put them on the right track.

Meanwhile, this marks yet another remarkable milestone for Smith, who suffered a gruesome leg injury in November of 2018.The injury was thought to be a potential career ender, especially after Smith contracted sepsis. Now healthy, the 36-year-old could be on the verge of taking his first snap in years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WFT Could Bench QB Dwayne Haskins

The Washington Football Team is not pleased with how quarterback Dwayne Haskins has performed through the first three games of the season, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the club could bench Haskins if he does not show improvement soon. In fact, Rapoport hears Haskins could be yanked during the club’s game against the Ravens this afternoon.

Haskins was the 15th-overall pick of the 2019 draft, and WFT gave him all the first-team reps in this year’s training camp while tailoring the offense to his strengths. Washington is not talent-rich on the offensive side of the ball, so not all of the club’s struggles fall on Haskins’ shoulders, but Haskins has certainly had his issues.

Thus far, he has taken too many sacks, has not shown much poise in the pocket, and he turned the ball over four times in last week’s loss to the Browns (three interceptions and one fumble). Although WFT did have an exciting comeback win over the Eagles in Week 1, Haskins has completed just 56.4% of his passes and has thrown four TDs against three picks, good for a 75.7 QB rating.

The Ohio State product had just one season as a starter in college, so it would seem strange that a team like Washington that doesn’t have realistic postseason hopes would pull the plug on him before he has even played a season’s worth of games as a pro. But as Rapoport writes, WFT sees the five games after Baltimore as eminently winnable — the team plays the Rams, the Giants twice, the Cowboys, and the Lions — and the coaching staff might believe current backup Kyle Allen is better-suited to win those games.

Allen was with WFT head coach Ron Rivera and OC Scott Turner in Carolina, so he has more experience with the offense. But Haskins definitely has a higher ceiling than Allen, and the team has much more invested in him. It will be interesting to see if Rivera — who was not with Washington when the club selected Haskins — has a quick hook.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

QB Notes: Washington, Taylor, Ravens

Here are the latest developments from quarterback rooms around the league. At least 11 teams will go with different starting QBs compared to Week 1 of last season. Two teams confirmed they are going in that direction Wednesday:

  • Alex Smith has made a remarkable recovery, having returned to team drills after undergoing 17 surgeries to repair career-altering injuries. But Washington ended any suspense about its quarterback competition Wednesday, announcing Dwayne Haskins will start in Week 1. This was the expected route for the rebuilding team, which selected Haskins 15th overall last year. Kyle Allen is in line to back up the second-year player, with Smith looming as a wild card. The latter is guaranteed a $16MM base salary this season.
  • Hard Knocks has given more attention to Justin Herbert‘s throws, but Tyrod Taylor did not lose his job in the Chargers‘ abbreviated offseason. While the No. 6 overall pick looms, Anthony Lynn did not throw a curveball and named Taylor as his Week 1 starter. “Tyrod Taylor is our starter right now,” Lynn said, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “Until someone steps up and shows that they can run this team, that’s [how] we’re going into it.” Taylor was a Week 1 starter from 2015-18 and worked with Lynn in Buffalo from 2015-16. While Herbert should be expected to take this job at some point this season, Taylor may have it for longer than he held off Baker Mayfield two years ago in Cleveland.
  • In a lower-stakes competition, the Ravens have not decided on their third quarterback. Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III are locked in, but Baltimore’s QB3 race between Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley remains “up in the air,” Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets. McSorley, a sixth-round 2019 pick out of Penn State, held this job last year. The Ravens signed Huntley as a UDFA out of Utah this year. The latter was a three-year starter for the Utes, though McSorley was the more productive college passer and rusher.
  • Both the Cowboys and Falcons changed up their quarterback depth charts Wednesday. The latter brought in a former Giants mid-round pick.

NFC East Notes: Baker, Redskins, Jeffery

DeAndre Baker‘s future with the Giants is up in the air after his arrest on eight charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery earlier this month. The Giants have told the cornerback to stay away from their offseason activities, but since they are unfolding in a virtual capacity, such a stance has a less noticeable effect. And Baker scored a victory this week. A judge approved a request by Baker’s attorney that will allow the second-year cornerback to leave the state, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. This would allow Baker to travel from Florida to New Jersey for Giants training camp. The Giants have kept Baker away from their voluntary virtual offseason since the incident but banning him from mandatory training camp would be a suspension. The team has not crossed that bridge yet.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, moving first to some of the happenings involving Washington’s offense:

  • Ron Rivera has said a shortened training camp would work in Kyle Allen‘s favor due to the recently acquired quarterback’s knowledge of Redskins OC Scott Turner‘s system. On Wednesday, however, Turner praised Dwayne Haskins‘ work during the team’s virtual program. “When we’re talking to him [on Zoom sessions], he’s speaking the language,” Turner said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “It’s pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne’s doing a great job. You can tell he’s putting the work in away from the meeting time.” Being drafted by a different regime and having finished with Football Outsiders’ worst QBR figure last season, Haskins is already facing a critical season as he begins work under Rivera and Turner.
  • The Redskins signed Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic and drafted hybrid-type player Antonio Gibson in Round 3. They also employ Derrius Guice and Bryce Love, both of whom coming off injuries. Adrian Peterson‘s spot in Washington is not a given, despite the future Hall of Famer leading the Redskins in rushing the past two years. But Turner said (via NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, on Twitter) he has “a ton” of respect for Peterson and that there is a role in his offense for “that type of back.” Peterson has never offered too much in the passing game, having not exceeded 300 receiving yards in a season since 2010. But the 35-year-old back surpassed four yards per carry in each of his two Washington seasons.
  • Coming off a Lisfranc injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery may not be ready for the season. Both Zach Berman and Bo Wulf of The Athletic (subscription required) expect the ninth-year wideout to start the year on the PUP list. This would shelve Jeffery for at least six weeks to start the season. The Eagles have shopped Jeffery in trades since last season and made several moves to add wideouts last month. But Jeffery’s contract makes a trade hard to envision.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Haskins

Barring a major surprise or trade, the NFL Draft should kick off with the Bengals selecting LSU quarterback Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall and the Redskins taking Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second pick. Then, at No. 3, many expect the Lions to tap Buckeyes cornerback Jeff Okudah as a replacement for Darius Slay.

When the Giants pick at No. 4, however, things could get interesting. The Giants could be a prime position to trade down and load up in the later rounds. If they stand pat, GM Dave Gettleman could be tempted by one of his beloved “Hog Mollies,” an imposing tackle to help fortify their offensive line.

However, in his latest mock draft, ESPN.com’s Todd McShay predicts that the G-Men will take Clemson outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons. The versatile defender could help slow down the run, put pressure on opposing QBs, and help turn around a defense that allowed more than 28 points per game in 2019.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Further down in the mock draft, McShay anticipates the Cowboys selecting a cornerback at No. 17 to help replace Byron Jones. In this scenario, he has them going with Florida’s C.J. Henderson, a player who is getting more and more buzz for his reported sub-4.4 40-yard-dash time. At No. 21 overall, he has the Eagles taking LSU inside linebacker Patrick Queen, even though many see the Birds targeting wide receivers, including Queen’s teammate Justin Jefferson.
  • Count ESPN.com’s Tim McManus among those that see PHI going WR. The Eagles watched big-name receivers fly off the board in March, even as Nelson Agholor moved on from the Raiders. With Alshon Jeffery still working his way back from Lisfranc surgery, the Eagles have to at least consider one of this year’s many talented targets. Jefferson is one possibility; Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, and Clemson’s Tee Higgins could also be available when the Eagles select at No. 21.
  • The Redskins haven’t ruled out a return for Alex Smith or a significant role for the newly acquired Kyle Allen. Still, head coach Ron Rivera expects rising sophomore Dwayne Haskins to be the team’s starter in 2020. “That’s what we’re going into camp believing, but they’re going to compete,” Rivera told WFNZ (via Peter King of NBC Sports). “We really like what we have in terms of our young quarterbacks. Kyle is a young guy who has a live arm, understands the game, understands how we do things, so I’m excited about what the potential could be.”

Redskins Not Expected To Pursue Cam Newton, Jameis Winston

While Dwayne Haskins‘ status is murkier than it would have been had the Redskins retained Bruce Allen, the Ron Rivera regime’s plan does not include giving Cam Newton a chance to reignite his career.

The Redskins have been linked to Tua Tagovailoa at No. 2 overall, but they will not add a high-profile veteran quarterback. Even if the Panthers cut Newton, the Redskins are not expected to be interested, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. The same goes for Jameis Winston, who is now in search of a new team after the Buccaneers landed Tom Brady.

Washington does not want to put Haskins in a position where he would be the clear backup, Keim adds. That would be the case if Newton and Rivera reunited. Each of Newton’s 124 starts came when Rivera was Carolina’s coach.

The Panthers are having trouble finding a trade partner for Newton, which makes sense given the COVID-19 pandemic preventing teams from having their medical personnel examine players with injury concerns. The Panthers are likely to release the former MVP soon. Winston has not been linked to any teams since the Bucs signed Brady.

Haskins finished with by far the worst QBR figure among qualified passers last season. Daniel Snyder, however, pushed for the Ohio State prospect going into the draft. Although Rivera mentioned Alex Smith as a candidate to start in 2020, the odds may still be against the former No. 1 overall pick playing again. Unless the Redskins draft Tagovailoa over Chase Young, Haskins remains the best bet to take the snaps in Week 1.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Haskins, Giants

New Redskins coach Ron Rivera has insisted he wants to have a quarterback competition, and that nothing will be handed to second-year incumbent Dwayne Haskins. Haskins doesn’t have any problem with that, and he said as much to reporters during a recent community event. “That’s cool,” Haskins said of Rivera’s remarks, via Peter Hailey of NBC Sports. “I’m just going to have to work hard and eventually take it over. Just do your best to be accountable for what you have to do and be ready to go.” That’s obviously the type of attitude that his new coaching staff will like to hear.

Rivera specifically shouted out Alex Smith recently and indicated he could even be back with the team in 2020, although that still seems pretty unlikely. By all accounts, Haskins will almost certainly be under center for the Redskins in Week 1 even though the staff plans to make him earn it. Haskins took over for Case Keenum midway through last season, and was up and down like most rookies. The Ohio State product struggled early on, but started to play a lot better in his last couple of games.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Giants traded for Leonard Williams at the deadline even though they weren’t headed to the playoffs and he was set to be a free agent, putting a lot of pressure on them to extend him. To that end, the team is “intent” on re-signing him this offseason, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. However, he isn’t going to come cheaply. Vacchiano thinks the defensive lineman will be seeking a contract worth around $15MM annually. The sixth overall pick back in 2015, Williams has always been high on talent but a bit underwhelming on the field. He made the Pro Bowl in 2016, but has been more up and down since then. Still only 25, he should still be entering the prime of his career. New York gave up third and fifth round picks for him.
  • Speaking of the Giants, new head coach Joe Judge put together an interesting inaugural staff with some notable hires. Speaking recently, Judge dished on his thought process when bringing his staff together, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “To me, it’s a big trust factor with the guys I have on the staff,’’ Judge said. “I have a personal relationship with a lot of these guys, professional relationships with nearly all of them.” There are a number of high profile coaches on the staff, including recently fired Browns and Cowboys head coaches Freddie Kitchens and Jason Garrett. Despite that, the rookie head coach insisted that he didn’t hire them because of their experience leading teams. “I didn’t set out to hire anyone with former head coaching experience,’’ Judge said. “That ended up being a plus of what different guys brought to their area.” On Kitchens specifically he said “what I love about Freddie is he brings an element of toughness and discipline to his room. He brings outside-the-box thinking a lot of times to how he approaches the game from a game-plan perspective.’’