The Washington Football Team have clearly given up on quarterback Dwayne Haskins and one analyst believes that the Cleveland Browns could be a potential landing spot for the former first-round pick.
Ryan Homler of NBC Sports listed the Browns among three teams that could pull off a trade for Haskins, citing injury concerns with Baker Mayfield, who is battling through a rib issue but is not expected to miss any time.
That being said, Mayfield had a disaster of a showing against the Steelers last week, looking timid in the pocket and tossing a pair of interceptions — one for a pick-six — in a 38-7 loss. Homler contends that if Mayfield is more injured than he’s letting on, Haskins could be a fill-in.
“He may not be the answer for the future, but if the Browns have the quarterback problems in 2020, Haskins could serve as a reasonable fill-in as the team tries to remain in contention,” Homler wrote. “The last time he played for a team in Ohio, it went pretty well.”
Homler is citing Haskins’ resume as the quarterback at Ohio State, where he became a Heisman finalist by passing for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in his only full year as the starting quarterback. But Haskins has not been able to find that level of success in the pros, and a change in regime in Washington has not helped his cause.
Dwayne Haskins Falls Off Depth Chart in Washington
In nine games last season as a rookie Haskins passed for 1,365 yards, 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. This season went worse and Haskins plummeted to No. 3 on the depth chart, with Kyle Allen starting and veteran Alex Smith functioning as the backup QB. Washington head coach Ron Rivera said the situation is an opportunity for Haskins to grow and he hasn’t given up on him.
“Dwayne’s a young man that’s learning and growing. He hasn’t been in the system,” Rivera said. “He hasn’t had the benefit of a full offseason. He hasn’t had the benefit of a true training camp. Based on what I saw, I made the decision to make the switch.”
Haskins started when Washington came to Cleveland in Week 3. The Browns pulled out the 34-20 victory and Haskins tossed a trio of bad interceptions.
It’s hard to argue that Haskins would even be an upgrade of Browns backup Case Keenum, who previously played in Washington and lost his job to Haskins last season.The Browns signed Keenum this offseason to a three-year, $18 million deal — a lucrative deal for a backup QB. It would not have been done if head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry did not have confidence in him to take over under center if something happened to Mayfield.
The Browns are Keenum’s fifth team in five seasons. Keenum started eight games with Washington last season before the reins were handed over to Haskins. Keenum went 1-7 in his starts, passing for 1,707 yards, 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
Baker Mayfield Not Worried About Critics
There has been plenty of noise surrounding Mayfield’s future in Cleveland, with many calling for him to hit the pine. However, the former No. 1 overall pick is not worried about what’s happening on the outside. Mayfield is firmly focused on getting better and preparing for the Bengals this week.
“I don’t give a damn what they say,” Mayfield told reporters on Wednesday. “We know we can be better. I know I can be better. The outside noise doesn’t matter. They get paid to talk and we get paid to do our work. So that’s how it’s going to be handled.
“No matter what the expectations are on the outside, we have to go in there and handle it,” he added. “It is the NFL. There are no gimmes. You have to earn it in this business so we have to handle it that way.”
Despite last week’s crushing loss, the Browns could move to 5-2 with a win against the Bengals and be firmly in contention for a postseason spot.
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