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NFL teams reportedly are expressing interest in quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who officially became a free agent Wednesday after flaming out in Washington.
The 2019 first-round pick went unclaimed on waivers following his release Tuesday, which marked the end of a tumultuous tenure plagued by poor play, a reported lack of preparation and violations of COVID-19 protocol.
But now teams will have the option of signing the 23-year-old for less than the $4.3 million guaranteed he would be owed next season, and that has sparked interest, according to ESPN.
Though it’s unclear which teams are intrigued by Haskins, there are several potential landing spots that could make sense.
The Patriots, who have a history of taking on reclamation projects, could be an option. New England’s future at quarterback appears up for grabs after Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham struggled taking over for Tom Brady this season.
Brady’s new team, the Buccaneers, also could bring in Haskins and have him develop for a year or two under the future Hall of Famer — who will be 44 by the start of next season.
A similar situation could unfold in Pittsburgh, where Ben Roethlisberger’s career, like Brady’s, is winding down.
Any change of scenery likely would do Haskins well.
He was drafted by a Washington franchise that, according to reports, was split internally as to whether select him with the 15th overall pick in 2019, and then underwent two coaching staffs in two seasons.
In 16 games, he threw for 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and there was no shortage of off-the-field issues.
During his rookie season he famously took a selfie with a fan during the final play of his first win.
In October, the former Ohio State star who threw 50 touchdowns in the only season he started for the Buckeyes, was fined $5,000 for inviting a friend to the team hotel in October, in violation of the team’s COVID-19 protocol.
The final straw occurred last week when he was fined $40,000 and stripped of his captaincy after partying with strippers without a mask and benched for journeyman Taylor Heinicke Sunday after throwing two interceptions in a loss.
“I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB,” Haskins wrote on Twitter following his release, and “will become a better man & player because of this experience.”
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