NFL rumors: Dwayne Haskins set to meet with first NFL team since release

By Matt Johnson
Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) attempts a pass as Carolina Panthers defensive end Efe Obada (94) rushes during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

NFL rumors: Nearly two weeks after Dwayne Haskins was released, the former 2019 first-round pick could be closing in on his second chance in the NFL with an upcoming visit next week.

Haskins, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, was cut by the Washington Football Team on Dec. 28. Now, as his former club prepares for its first appearance in the NFL Playoffs since 2015, Haskins is reportedly getting ready for his first opportunity to prove he deserves to stick in the NFL.

NFL Playoffs: Wild Card schedule and game-by-game predictions

NFL rumors: Dwayne Haskins to meet with Carolina Panthers on Monday

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers are set to host Dwayne Haskins for a free-agent visit on Monday. It will be the 23-year-old’s first visit since being cut by Washington, a move that many hope serves as a wake-up call for the young quarterback.

Owed $4.3 million on his rookie contract, no NFL team claimed Haskins when he landed on waivers. However, with the young signal-caller now free to sign for a minimum contract, interest is immediately picking up.

NFL rumors: Josh McDaniels ruled out for Houston Texans head coach in 2021

Shortly after his release, the Panthers were immediately connected to Haskins. While Teddy Bridgewater is entering just the second season of his three-year, $63 million contract, there are no guarantees he remains the starter. When head coach Matt Rhule was asked about who would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021, he refused to commit to Bridgewater.

Carolina could be the right opportunity for Haskins. Rhule, who coached at Baylor, has known Haskins since he was a prized quarterback recruit in high school. Furthermore, as Rapoport notes, Rhule and Ohio State Buckeyes coach Ryan Day have a close relationship.

It means Haskins will have a chance when he meets with the Panthers, but he also must prove he is accountable. Washington didn’t just release him for his poor play.

The 23-year-old was stripped of his role as the team’s captain after he attended a strip club without wearing a mask. Despite the egregious mistake, Haskins got an opportunity to start in Week 16 due to Alex Smith’s calf injury. After throwing two interceptions against the Panthers, he was benched. When the game ended, Haskins skipped out on his media interviews before finally talking to reporters when he got home.

NFL rumors: 5 most realistic Deshaun Watson trade destinations

There’s no denying Haskins’ physical talent and his development was greatly impacted by issues with the Washington Football Team over the past two seasons. That’s exactly why the Panthers aren’t the only team interested in signing him.

If Haskins impressed Rhule when they meet next week, he could land another NFL contract. It’s a second chance his talent has earned. If he delivers, the label of being a draft bust will fade away. If not, we may not see him in the NFL again.