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When quarterback Carson Wentz went out with a hand injury after a Week 6 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Washington Commanders turned to an old friend at QB: Taylor Heinicke. In his three years in the nation’s capital, Heinicke has now started 16 games and has an 8-8 record after the 2022 Week 7 win over the Green Bay Packers.

This win moved the Commanders to 3-4 to help them stay in the NFC Wild Card race. It also — thanks to a unique quirk in Heinicke’s contract — earned the 29-year-old out of Old Dominion $125,000. And after the game, Heinicke shared that this week, he’s going to go out and buy the same thing he’s purchased after every other time he’s earned this contractual bonus.

Taylor Heinicke has an interesting $125K bonus in his contract

After a solid college career at Old Dominion, where he passed for over 10,000 yards (14,959) and ran for over 1,000 yards (1,320), Taylor Heinicke signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

For the first five years of his career, Heinicke bounced around from the Vikings to the New England Patriots to the Houston Texans to the Carolina Panthers. He even signed with the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks before the league folded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, though, Heinicke caught on with the Washington Commanders. He played in Week 16, then started a Wild Card playoff game where he dueled with Tom Brady in a one-possession loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That performance led to the Commanders giving Heinicke a two-year, $4.75 contract with a $1 million signing bonus, $1.5 million guaranteed.

The contract also has a fascinating incentive bonus where Heinicke gets $125,000 for every game he plays 60% of the team’s offensive snaps, and the Commanders come away with a win.  

In 2021, Heinicke earned seven of these bonuses for a total of $875,000. And in 2022, after making his bonus in Week 7, the QB is going to buy the same thing he bought after last season’s bonuses to commemorate his victories.

The Commanders QB buys specially color-coordinated Jordan sneakers after his wins

Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Commanders celebrates.
Taylor Heinicke | Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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Coming from ODU and taking the circuitous path to starting pro football games makes Taylor Heinicke one of the more interesting signal-callers in the NFL. Another fun fact about Heinicke is that he is a bit of a sneakerhead, and after every win (and subsequent $125,000 check) last season, Heinicke made the same purchase for himself.

“Every time we get the win, when I’m in the training room the next day I always buy myself a pair of [Jordans],” Heinicke shared, per ESPN. “Tomorrow I’ll probably buy myself green and yellow Js.”

The color scheme for his new sneakers coincides with the colors of the team the Commanders beat, which is why he’ll buy green and yellow Jordans after beating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.  

Last season, his seven wins came over the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders, and Giants again. That means his “green and yellow J’s” will soon go into a closet with Jordans of red and black, red and pewter, blue and black, blue and green, silver and black, and two pairs of red, white, and blue Js.

The next chance for Heinicke to earn $125K and a pair of blue and white Jordans comes in the Commanders’ Week 8 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.

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