Dwayne Haskins became the latest first-round quarterback to officially earn the label of bonafide bust yesterday when he was released by the Washington Football Team after less than two seasons with the team. Haskins was picked No. 15 overall in the 2019 NFL draft, and at the time it was seen as a decent pick; Haskins clearly had the physical talent to play in the league after throwing 50 touchdown passes in one season as Ohio State's starter, and Washington needed a long-term answer at the position in the wake of the Kirk Cousins debacle and Alex Smith's injury.
Haskins was, however, always seen as a project that would need some serious development before he reached starter potential. He didn't show much in 2020, though, after starting a handful of games in 2019 as a rookie. His lack of progress in tandem with his reckless decision-making as it pertains to the NFL's coronavirus protocols led to his release on Monday.
Booger McFarland discussed the happenings on ESPN last night. He said that he's seen this particular situation many times over his career as player and broadcaster: a young player comes into the NFL more concerned with building his brand than playing the game, and that doesn't work in the NFL because it's a billion-dollar business. He notes that he has seen this problem happen a lot with African-American players in particular.
It is worth mentioning that this particular issue McFarland raises is not limited to African-American players; Johnny Manziel immediately comes to mind as an example of a white player who appeared more dedicated to enjoying himself than improving his craft upon entering the NFL.
Ultimately, though, it's hard for any of us outside the building to really know if that's the case. Haskins was not entirely dedicated to doing everything for his team, as his COVID adventure which led to his release suggests. But it's usually more complicated than that he simply cared about himself more than the team. Maybe he didn't get a fair shake football-wise because the staff coaching him this year was not the same that wanted to draft him. Maybe he needed way more development than anyone anticipated after exactly one year of starting in college. Maybe he simply wasn't good enough to grasp professional concepts.
Who knows? We certainly don't. Only Ron Rivera and the rest of the Football Team truly do. I would hazard a guess, however, that McFarland would disagree with Pat McAfee's assessment that players are actually better in this day and age because they want to post workout videos to social media.