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Washington Football Team releases former first round pick Dwayne Haskins

The Washington Football Team on Monday announced it has released quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. The former Ohio State Buckeye was taken with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

"This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him, head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways. We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward."

The move comes one day after Haskins was benched mid-game in favor of third string quarterback Taylor Heinicke and just hours after it was announced Heinicke was being bumped up to second string. Rivera said during a press conference on Monday that Heinicke will take over quarterbacking duties next week if starter Alex Smith is still unable to play due to injury.

"My time with the WFT has unfortunately come to an end," Haskins tweeted. "I thank the team and fans for the opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for. I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of [an] NFL QB, and I will become a better man and player because of this experience."  

Dwayne Haskins
Dwayne Haskins Jr. at FedExField on December 20, 2020, in Landover, Maryland. Timothy Nwachukwu / Getty

Haskins began the 2020 season as the Football Team's starter and was named one of the team's captains. He was benched after four weeks, at which point Washington was 1-3, in favor of Kyle Allen. Allen then suffered a dislocated ankle in week 9 and Smith, who prior to the 2020 season had not played in the NFL since suffering a gruesome leg injury in 2018, took over at quarterback. Smith has been out the last two weeks with a calf injury, and Washington, which currently holds the top spot in the NFC East with a 6-9 record, has lost both games that Haskins started since then.

Haskins also made headlines off the field for breaking the team's COVID-19 protocols. Following Washington's week 15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a game that Haskins started, the 23-year-old was photographed maskless at an event with strippers on December 20. This led to a fine and Washington stripping Haskins of his captainship. Earlier in the season, Haskins was reportedly fined for making a reservation for a friend at the team's hotel prior to a game against the New York Giants.

Haskins was 3-10 as a starter for Washington and threw for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, along with 1 rushing touchdown.

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