NFL

Owner Dan Synder May Be the Man To Blame for the Washington Football Team’s Latest Disaster

If you had to name the least popular people in football, Dan Snyder is probably near the top of the list. On the whole, his time owning the Washington Football Team has been nothing short of a disaster. Now, it seems that the owner could be responsible for an entirely new set of problems.

On Monday, the Dwayne Haskins experiment officially came to an end; the team cut their signal-caller, marking the end of a brief and disappointing era. Although the quarterback obviously bears some of the responsibility, at the end of the day, everything seems to trace back to Dan Snyder.

The Washington Football Team has officially given up on Dwayne Haskins

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When you select a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft, you’re probably hoping they’ll become a franchise player. It’s safe to assume that Dwayne Haskins won’t be one of those, at least for the Washington Football Team.

After an impressive 2018 at Ohio State, Haskins entered the NFL draft, and the then-Washington Redskins snapped him up with the 15th-overall pick. His rookie year, however, was somewhat of a mixed bag. Haskins didn’t start until Week 9 when Case Keenum suffered a concussion; in total, he started seven games and made two relief appearances, throwing for 1.365 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

While Ron Rivera’s arrival was supposed to give Haskins a boost—the coach previously worked with Cam Newton in Carolina—the opposite happened.

On the field, the quarterback struggled and eventually lost the starting job. He also violated COVID-19 protocol on multiple occasions, was stripped of the captaincy, and, after Week 16, was cut from the team.

Dan Snyder may be to blame for the Dwayne Haskins disaster

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To some extent, you have to hold Dwayne Haskins responsible for his own failures with the Washington Football Team. With that being said, though, some of the blame seems like it should belong to owner Dan Synder, too.

“I will never forget the week leading up the draft in 2019,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted after Haskins was released. “A member of the Washington coaching staff told me he was going to actually throw up in the war room because ownership wasn’t listening. Coaches didn’t believe Haskins was the right person to be the future of the franchise.”

Without knowing exactly who took part in those conversations, the use of ‘ownership’ suggests that Dan Synder advocated for drafting Dwayne Haskins. If nothing else, it seems within his character; “owner Dan Snyder has proven a meddlesome presence,” Jim Corbett once wrote for USA Today.

Thanks to Dan Snyder and Dwayne Haskins, the Washington Football Team is in a terrible position

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Whether Dwayne Haskins, Dan Snyder, or a combination of both men is to blame for the current disaster, one thing is clear: both now and looking ahead, the Washington Football Team is in a terrible spot.

Thinking purely short term, Washington is now facing a must-win Week 17 game with a question mark at quarterback. It’s unclear if Alex Smith will be available to play; if he can’t go, Taylor Heinicke will be the starter. While you can make a case for addition by subtraction, it’s never ideal to rely on a fourth-choice quarterback with the playoffs on the line.

Looking big picture, though, things get even worse. The modern NFL is built around quarterbacks; with all due respect to Alex Smith and Kyle Allen, the Washington Football Team doesn’t have someone to build around long-term.

That gets even more painful when you consider the 2020 NFL draft. Since they picked Haskins in 2019, Washington drafted Chase Young with the second-overall pick; while he looked good as a rookie, a defensive end can’t transform a team the same way a quarterback can. Had the WFT selected Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert instead, their future would look much brighter.

During his time in Washington, Dan Snyder hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory. If he was the one who pushed his staff to select Dwayne Haskins in 2019, that’s just another decision that the owner has botched.