Analysis Editorial

Why the Chiefs should sign Dwayne Haskins

While the team on the field is getting ready to take a run at the Super Bowl, Brett Veach should make a strategic move that would require little investment but could yield a big return.

I know somewhere in a comment section people are going to be tearing this article apart before they even get a chance to read it. I will be called multiple names, and that’s ok. This article does not seem likely to the casual fan, but for my fellow die-hards out there this might end up being a potential steal for the Chiefs. The Washington Football Team released Dwayne Hasksin on Monday, and for good reasons.

Haskins has had his share of struggles on the field in the two seasons he was in Washington, as well as off the field issues which were highlighted by him breaking the NFL’s Covid-19 protocol after being photographed maskless in a strip club. Haskins time in Washington is now done, and it seems unlikely he will be on a roster for the rest of the season, but at only 23 years old with the arm talent he has, another team will likely come calling. That team should be the Kansas City Chiefs.

Backing up Patrick Mahomes

Nobody cares who the backup is and no one worries about it till he has to go into the game. Last season the Chiefs saw that first hand when Matt Moore came in for an injured Patrick Mahomes. Hopefully, the Chiefs are never in a situation where they are without Mahomes for a prolonged stretch, but injuries’ can happen in the NFL.

A team can never have enough competent quarterbacks on the roster, and since Andy Reid has been in Kansas City the Chiefs have always been able to have competent backups stretching from Chase Daniel, Nick Foles, Matt Moore, and Chad Henne, as well as Mahomes himself his rookie year. In fact, since Reid has been in town the Chiefs’ backup quarterbacks have a record of 5-2, showing that Andy Reid can get the job done.

Schematic Fit

Haskins was able to dazzle with his deep ball ability while at Ohio State University, one of the reasons he was drafted in the first round by Washington back in 2019 had to do with the big plays he was able to make, as well as his insane production. Over 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his only season starting, he had the arm talent that GM’s and head coaches fawn over.

Since he has been in the NFL he has had far less success, throwing for 14 interceptions and just 12 touchdowns in 16 career games. This is not to say this is entirely his fault, two different head coaches, two different offensive schemes and one big rebuild isn’t much support to go off of for a young player. It was also clear at the beginning of this season that new Washington Head Coach Ron Rivera was not interested in developing Haskins, electing to play Kyle Allen and eventually Alex Smith over Haskins.

While this is not encouraging a high-frequency passing offense would suit Haskins better, as compared to the more pro-style game Rivera wanted him to play. This combined with his arm strength as well as the Chiefs’ desire to attack the deep passing game could help him overcome his early career struggles.

Guidance and mentorship

Apart from the fact that Haskins was not playing well, he also made a very poor judgment call when being seen in a strip club without a mask when the NFL has strict Covid-19 guidelines and regulations. This was a horrendous decision, especially considering he could have been exposed to the virus, jeopardizing his team, or exposing others to the virus, potentially jeopardizing their health, or worse. It’s a decision that he will have to live with, but it does not have to define him.

The Chiefs are a team of second chances, and so is Andy Reid. The Chiefs roster is filled with players who at one point were considered cancerous” or “culture killers”, but the leadership showed by Reid, Veach, and even Clark Hunt has rubbed off on the entire organization. Look no further than Travis Kelce for an example of a player who Reid and the organization were to mold into a leader.

Kelce had several early struggles and made decisions in games that would earn himself discipline, as well as hurt the team. Now Kelce is a prime leader on the roster and nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year. In his own room alone Haskins would be able to have Patrick Mahomes, Mike Kaffka with a strong dose of leadership from Eric Bieniemy, as well as Reid. If there would be anyone to help Haskins with his growing pains it would be the Chiefs.

Benefit to Haskins

Right now Haskins is young, still only 23 years old but his clock is ticking. Teams don’t have the time to develop players like they once did, especially ones who have shown struggles in the past. Haskins will have to come in and show that he can develop his on-field skills, improve on his deficiencies in the accuracy of his passing game, as well has get his footwork up to par for an NFL level.

This can take time and there are no guarantees, but if Haskins were to come in and be able to learn from Mahomes, and the coaching staff it could propel him into another starting job at some point in his career.

Payoff for the Chiefs

Quarterback is the premium position in the NFL, and to get their franchise guy teams are willing to spend anything, including draft picks. If the Chiefs were to sign Haskins it would likely be for a very cheap deal, more than likely it would have Haskins yearly salary around $1 million dollars, which is not much of an investment on the Chiefs part.

The team could in turn flip that into multiple draft picks, and potential first-round picks. Since Patrick Mahomes signed his mega-deal this past summer, the importance for the Chiefs to be able to hit on draft picks has become significantly more important. The more picks the better, but since the Chiefs will be drafting late in the first round for the next decade or so, additional picks could help fill the roster, as well as add more weapons for the Chiefs. These added picks could be impact players, that could help the Chiefs continue their dynamic play for years to come.

Bottom Line

This move would make excellent sense for both parties. It would allow Haskins to be able to develop his game in a low-pressure situation while learning from the best in the business. It would benefit the Chiefs by giving them a chance to load up on draft picks when they will likely be needing them the most. If Haskins in KC for a minimum of two years this will be about all the time the Chiefs will have to show him off and try to get a high draft pick or a haul of picks.

This would give Haskins two pre-seasons to showcase his skills, give Reid two years to work with him, and give the rest of the NFL time to believe in what the Chief would be doing. Anything positive Hasksin could do in relief of Mahomes would be of benefit to both sides. Brett Veach would have to sell it to other teams that they saved Haskins career and helped him get his second chance.

Haskins would be able to use Reid’s impressive history of coaching quarterbacks to his advantage as well. If any coach could turn around Haskins career it would be Andy Reid, and if any GM could find a way to get the Chief a return on their investment it would be Brett Veach.

1 comment

  1. Caleb, this is a great post. I totally agree with you on all points you make for the chiefs to sign Haskins. I hope they do.

    Lifetime Chiefs Fan living in DC

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