Here’s what this move means for Haskins:
Washington is placing trust in him: Multiple sources said over the past several days that coach Ron Rivera & Co. would not be adding a veteran quarterback such as Cam Newton or Jameis Winston. The Redskins’ staff clearly knows Newton well, having coached him for nine years in Carolina. But they want to develop Haskins, and if they had added someone of Newton’s caliber, that player almost assuredly would enter camp as the starter. They like the way Haskins finished the 2019 season and want him to have a legitimate shot to prove he’s their guy for 2020 and beyond. While Rivera hasn’t yet said Haskins will start, it’s clearly trending in that direction. Allen is viewed as a capable backup who can start if Haskins falters.
Haskins has another voice who knows the offense: There’s a chance players might not participate in offseason workouts, and with Haskins having to learn Rivera’s offense, it was imperative to add someone who is already experienced in this system. One source said the Redskins weren’t just going to add someone for that reason, but it certainly helps. Haskins must piece together offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s system by watching film and studying the routes favored in Carolina the past two seasons. He’s been doing all of that, then throwing passes on all those routes in individual workouts this spring. Haskins has talked to others he knows around the league about the offense, and he works with people who know the system. But having another quarterback on the roster who knows the playbook, someone he can communicate with, can only help.
Haskins cannot relax: Allen started 12 games for Carolina last season — and 13 in his two years — and knows the offense well, having spent two years with Turner. Allen won his first four starts before losing seven of his last eight. He is reuniting with a staff that felt comfortable starting him — and even had success with him in the short term. Allen doesn’t project to be a frontline starter, but he can run the offense. If Haskins struggles picking it up in an offseason that could be devoid of workouts, then Washington can turn to Allen. While Allen entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, he was a five-star recruit in high school and has a strong arm. His demeanor and locker room presence in Carolina earned praise, too. And, he’s 4-4 on the road as a starting quarterback.
Haskins, the 2019 first-round pick, should be the Redskins’ No. 1 guy, but he will have to earn the job.