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Taylor Heinicke Got Paid Because We Let Ourselves Believe He Almost Beat Tom Brady

By Stephen Douglas
Feb 10, 2021, 10:54 AM EST
Taylor Heinicke is not as cool as this picture suggests.
Taylor Heinicke is not as cool as this picture suggests. | Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Taylor Heinicke has signed a 2-year extension with the Washington Football Team reportedly worth $8.75 million. As far as middling quarterbacks with no real resume who are not on a rookie deal, it's not an outrageous number, but still, Heinicke was on the bench in the XFL a year ago today. So how did this happen?

Ian Rapoport says that Heinicke "impressed" in a playoff game, but did he really? Or were we all just blinded by the desire to see Tom Brady lose to a sub-.500 team in a Wild Card game and just got caught up in the moment? He threw for 300 yards and a touchdown and ran for another.

He's still the same guy who went undrafted in 2015. He couldn't get on the field in Minnesota or New England (that one is kind of obvious, but still). He threw one pass in Houston. He did nothing of note in Carolina and couldn't beat out Jordan Ta'amu to play in the XFL. Then it was back to Washington where he only got on the field because Alex Smith got hurt and Dwayne Haskins violated COVID protocols and was horrible on the field.

My point is, Taylor Heinicke is not the future of the Washington Football Team. And he's not a building block. Washington needs to get on that QB carousel we keep hearing so much about and get serious about finding a franchise quarterback.

Heinicke would be searching for a practice squad right now if we hadn't all watched him *almost* beat Tom Brady. The truth is, Tampa never trailed in that game. Heinicke's one touchdown pass came with 4:51 remaining in a two-possession game. Brady was never in any real danger. This was just a collective psychosis we shared as we rooted for Tom Brady's failure. It's something we as a society outside of New England have agreed on for the last two decades. Taylor Heinicke was just the jersey we were all rooting for that day and he turned it into a nice little contract.

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