At the time of Haskins, the “Haskins Jr.” wearing on his jersey, he was in second grade, he and his father had already ridden to make him a great NFL quarterback.

Once, when the Haskins family was living in New Jersey, the father proudly told the South Brunswick High football coach about his son’s awards, such as being “the second year fourth grader in North America.”

That was the A-Plus soccer report on Haskins during the many soccer camps and youth leagues he played, as well as his rigorous training programs with his father. While still in elementary school, he worked with college coaches and practiced passport patterns with future NFL-wide recipient Mohamed Sanu. In fifth grade, he’d visited the Ohio State locker room.

“The intelligence, the size and what an arm!” they all said.

At the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., And in the state of Ohio, where he had 50 touchdown passes in his first season as a starter, his dedication and attitude were praised as much as his rocket arm, even by strict Buckeyes trainer Urban Meyer .

By the time Washington made him the first choice in the 2019 draft and gave him $ 14.4 million in guaranteed money including a $ 8.5 million signing bonus, the goal of a 15-year family project seemed to have been achieved .

That reality ended on Monday when Washington released the quarterback with one game remaining in the season. Get out of here, he was told.

When a win in Philadelphia on Sunday would make Washington the NFC East Champion and a loss would end his season, coach Ron Rivera decided it was a good idea to throw a healthy Haskins and his luggage out of the room for no consideration.

He’s played 16 games since coming to Washington, 13 of which are starting. Two other key numbers: 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Yes, that’s over $ 1 million per scoring pass.

Washington knows their way around first-round quarterback flops. The city used up all its luck in Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, the sixth election in 1937. Since then, the franchise has picked a dozen quarterbacks in the first round, and the best was Norm Snead (second overall, 1961) – because he came in acted for Sonny Juergensen. By the time I got to high school I had seen four busts in the first round – Jack Scarbath (third overall, 1953), Ralph Guglielmi (fourth overall, 1955), Don Allard (fourth overall, 1959, zero retirement) and Richie Lucas ( fourth overall, 1960).

Current fans shy away from the names of the youngest first-round players, one seriously injured, one not at all good, and a couple that were just disappointments – Heath Shuler, Patrick Ramsey, Jason Campbell and Robert Griffin III.

Despite all this competition for darkness, Haskins now inhabits a stunning and sad place of his own. How did so much go wrong so quickly? And how much of the Haskins story is fact and how much is perception?

Here are this season’s stats for two NFL quarterbacks. Skip the study to save your eyesight: they are almost identical.

No. 1 completed 146 of 220 passes for 1,420 yards with four touchdowns, six interceptions, and 19 sacks. His passerby rating was 79.0 and his QBR was 35.6.

No. 2 went 148 for 241 for 1,439 yards with five touchdowns, seven interceptions and 20 sacks. His passerby rating was 73.0 and his QBR was 30.7.

# 1 is Saint Alex Smith, who has returned from 17 surgeries on one leg, showing poise, leadership and the ability to manage games while setting a 4-1 record on his starts.

# 2 is Haskins, whose work ethic, as Washington coaches have indicated, is poor. They have also claimed that his knowledge of the team’s playbook is not NFL-level.

There was also the $ 40,000 fine – and expropriation of his captain – as a punishment after social media caught him without masks at a crowded party a few hours after being lost. To make matters worse, it was his second breach of the NFL’s coronavirus protocols.

Didn’t he understand that Rivera had just finished cancer treatment in October? Are you partying hard in a pandemic with an immunocompromised trainer? Hasn’t he heard of the recent games that Baltimore and Denver lost largely to players who lost to positive tests?

I’m confused. What happened to the hardworking Haskins from a family that included police officers who were both extremely religious and a soccer student from second grade until he arrived in the NFL?

I am annoyed. How can an athlete be so selfish, regardless of the distractions of millions and the treatment of stars before mastering your craft? How can you be exposed to Smith and still not talk about all of the lessons you learned by watching him and talking to him until he took your job?

And I am sad. Maybe I’m a sucker for a 23-year-old who puts on a boastful facade when he feels he is way over his head in the job he has dreamed of and which his whole family has been focusing on since he was seven Has.

That showed his deep delusions about his skills and unpreparedness for the NFL. When he took this selfie with a fan on his first career win last season – before the game was over – it was more the same. When your dad tells others that you’re the number 2 quarterback in the country in fourth grade, how does that help you deal with failure in the top division under the microscope?

No wonder Haskins looked so deprived when Rivera took him out of the game for an unoccupied fellow from Old Dominion, Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke immediately led Washington down the field and almost into position to save the game.

It’s all so Washington Football Team – and therefore so depressingly predictable. Former trainer Jay Gruden, an offensive guru, didn’t want to draw Haskins. Owner Daniel Snyder, who listens to everyone who’s in his ear this year, did it – and his son also went to Bullis. This is exactly how an NFL operation cannot be performed.

But there’s more here than the usual Washington football team nonsense. And most of it is just sad.

Why wouldn’t dream big, hard work, and great talent in childhood not lead to some level of self-deception and self-absorption? Why wouldn’t stupid words – like telling the NFL how stupid it was not to appreciate you anymore – not slip out of your mouth?

Once the downward spiral begins and pulls you further and further away from the fate that you thought was simply yours to assert, why should your judgment remain clear?

Dwayne Haskins is gone. Some will say, “You got it wrong.” Others think, “He got what he deserved.”

Why not be satisfied with “good luck” when you find a new NFL landing site? A place where Haskins can work on who he is as a player and person again.


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