Houston is still awaiting a resolution on the Deshaun Watson situation, but that won’t stop them from making changes to their quarterbacks room. The Texans are signing QB Kyle Allen, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post (on Twitter).
Allen is inking a one-year, $2.5MM deal, including $2.25MM in guaranteed money.
Allen spent the first two seasons of his career in Carolina, including a 2019 campaign where he went 5-7 as a starter while tossing 17 touchdowns (vs. 16 interceptions). He was traded to Washington prior to the 2020 season, and he ended up appearing in six games (four starts) during his two seasons with the organization. In total, Allen has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,318 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions in 21 games (17 starts).
The Texans reportedly aren’t interested in receiving a QB in a Watson trade, and the team is content to move forward with Davis Mills as the starting QB. Allen will join a depth chart that also includes Jeff Driskel.
This afternoon the Football Team in our nation’s capital announced a number of roster moves leading up to their Sunday Night matchup in Dallas.
Washington was thankful to add some players back to the active roster from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen, safety Kamren Curl, undrafted free agent linebacker Milo Eifler, and starting cornerback Kendall Fuller all made their way off the COVID list. They did lose defensive end Nate Orchard to the COVID list, though.
The return of Curl will be welcome as Washington placed starting safety Landon Collins on IR, along with rotational defensive end Daniel Wise. Curl spent most of his rookie season filling in for Collins as the starting safety last year.
Defensive back and core special teams player Deshazor Everett was placed on the reserve/Non-Football Injury list following a car accident that killed the passenger of the vehicle, 29 year-old Olivia S. Peters. It was reported by Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post that Everett was taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The wreck is being investigated and it sounds like the Football Team is awaiting the results of the investigation before taking any further action.
The last move affecting Washington’s active roster was the release of defensive lineman Akeem Spence. Spence signed a week ago amidst the surge of COVID-19 positive tests.
December 21st, 2021 at 3:05pm CST by Zachary Links
It’s now official. On Tuesday, the Washington Football Team announced that quarterbacks Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen were unable to test out of COVID-19 protocols. With that, journeyman Garrett Gilbert will start tonight against the Eagles.
Gilbert, recently signed off of the Patriots’ taxi squad, started for the Cowboys last year in a Week 9 loss to the Steelers. Filling in for Dak Prescott (injured) and Andy Dalton (on the COVID list), Gilbert went 21-of-38 for 243 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. It wasn’t a particularly memorable performance, but it was at least better than what the Cowboys were getting out of Ben DiNucci.
The 30-year-old passer has dressed for just seven games in his NFL career. This will be his biggest one yet as Washington fights for a playoff spot. A win tonight would give them a 43% chance of qualifying; a loss would require them to win out and get extremely lucky.
Washington has been able to activate a couple of its players for tonight’s game — cornerback Troy Apke and defensive tackle Tim Settle. Beyond that, they’ll elevate four practice squaders: fullback Alex Armah, linebacker De’Jon Harris, tackle David Steinmetz, and quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who will serve as the QB2 behind Gilbert.
December 17th, 2021 at 9:20am CST by Zachary Links
The hits just keep on comin’. One day after placing Kyle Allen on the COVID-19 list, the Washington Football Team has done the same with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, per a club announcement. In desperate need of a signal caller, Washington has signed Garrett Gilbert to potentially start on Sunday against the Eagles.
The NFL’s revised protocols could conceivably allow Heinicke and Allen to dress this week. But, with a little over 48 hours between now and kickoff, Washington had to act fast. Enter Gilbert, a 30-year-old journeyman with just seven pro appearances on his resume.
Gilbert’s lone start came with the Cowboys last year, a Week 9 loss to the Steelers. That too was a desperation move. Dak Prescott was injured, Andy Dalton was parked on the COVID-19 list, and youngster Ben DiNucci was coming off of a rough performance in Week 8. Gilbert finished the game 21-of-38 for 243 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
At 6-7, Washington still has a path to the playoffs. Their fate may rest in the hands of Gilbert or one of their practice squad QBs, either Kyle Shurmur or Jordan Ta’amu.
The top of Washington’s quarterbacks depth chart will look different in 2021, but it sounds like the team will be rolling with the same backups. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that quarterback Kyle Allen has signed his ERFA tender.
After getting 12 starts for the Panthers in 2019, Allen ended up following his former head coach, Ron Rivera, to Washington after he was traded for a a fifth-rounder. Allen ultimately got four starts for Washington, completing 69-percent of his passes for 610 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception.
However, Allen suffered a dislocated/fractured ankle in early November, and the subsequent surgery ended his season early. That injury paved the way for Alex Smith to take over the full-time starting gig, and the veteran ended up going 5-1 en route the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
In 2021, Allen will be backing up a different veteran, as the organization moved on from Smith and replaced him with Ryan Fitzpatrick. The team is also still rostering Taylor Heinicke.
The restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decision deadline is a little more than a week away. Some teams are already making their calls in advance of March 17. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:
Keim’s source did not name those QBs, but it’s safe to assume that WFT is at least kicking the tires on trade candidates like Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, and Sam Darnold. The club’s interest in Stafford and other signal-callers obviously suggests that it is not entirely sold on having Alex Smith return as the starter next season, but that scenario remains on the table.
If he does return, though, he would need to rework his contract. He is presently scheduled to count $24.4MM against the cap in 2021, and that is simply untenable. The newly-minted Comeback Player of the Year was a remarkable story in 2020, completing his recovery from a devastating leg injury suffered in November 2018 to start six games for WFT (winning five of them) and lead the club to a playoff berth. But he was more of a game manager than anything else, as he threw for six touchdowns against eight interceptions and posted a poor 78.5 QB rating.
Plus, he will be 37 when the 2021 season starts, and he missed three of the team’s final four games — including the wildcard round matchup with the Bucs — due to a bone bruise. So it’s far from a sure thing that he will be able to handle a full 16-game slate at this point, and even if he can, he no longer possesses the type of mobility that had become a key feature of his game.
He could theoretically agree to a pay cut to stay with WFT, or he and Washington could come to terms on an extension that reduces his 2021 cap number. Keim suggests that WFT would be willing to go the extension route, as the club is concerned that forfeiting draft capital for a different quarterback would limit its ability to strengthen the rest of the roster. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that Smith would play to the end of the extension, so Washington could be saddled with substantial dead money in the future.
Of course, Washington could also release Smith, but that would only happen if the team has already acquired or is prepared to acquire another quarterback. A release would save WFT $13.6MM in cap space this year, and it would also allow the team to avoid the possibility of carrying Smith-related charges on its books beyond the 2021 season. Interestingly, multiple NFL execs, coaches, and scouts tell Keim that they view Smith as a backup at this point in his career, which might make Smith more receptive to a pay cut (though that is just my speculation).
Smith could also retire, but he did not seem ready to hang up the cleats in a recent interview. And Keim says retirement is the least likely scenario at this point, so one way or another, Washington will need to be the one to make the call on Smith’s future.
All of this suggests that WFT is not going to entertain the notion of having Taylor Heinicke open the 2021 season as the starter, despite some tongue-in-cheek calls for him to do so. The team did recently hand the near-playoff hero an extension, and while it was originally reported as a two-year, $8.75MM deal, a lot will need to go right for the soon-to-be 28-year-old to max out that contract. Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post has the full breakdown, which includes a $1MM salary in 2021, a $1.5MM salary in 2022, and $1.25MM in per game roster bonuses over the next two seasons (Twitter link). Field Yates of ESPN.com adds that Heinicke will pocket a $1MM signing bonus, so it’s really a two-year deal with a base value of $4.75MM and up to $4MM in incentives (Twitter link).
Meanwhile, Keim says Washington will retain Kyle Allen via an exclusive rights free agent tender. Allen followed head coach Ron Rivera from Carolina to Washington and makes for a solid third-string option if nothing else.
Washington quarterback Kyle Allen is expected to undergo surgery in the coming weeks on his dislocated/fractured ankle, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With Allen’s season in flux, Alex Smith is likely poised to serve as the team’s starter for the rest of the year.
Fortunately, Allen’s injury was not as bad as it first appeared. Smith took over for Allen after he was forced out and played well, up until his late-game interceptions. Of course, Smith can be forgiven if he was a bit rusty. Two years ago, his gruesome leg injury nearly cost him his career and, at one point, the possibility of amputation was floated by doctors.
Smith, 36, made his return this year and moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart when former first-round pick Dwayne Haskinswas benched in early October. Days later, Smith took the field against the Rams in relief of Allen. Though his final stat was ugly, coaches were encouraged by his ability to absorb blows from the front seven.
Sunday’s loss to the Giants dropped the Washington Football Team down to 2-6. Even in the woeful NFC East, they’re facing long odds of making the postseason. Still, Smith’s return to the starting lineup will make for compelling television. He’ll be leading the way on Sunday when the WFT travels to Detroit to face the Lions.