Washington, Dwayne Haskins potentially will do battle over more than $4.2 million

USA TODAY Sports

Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins is gone. He may not be quickly forgotten, not if the team claims that his remaining guarantees have become null and void and a legal fight ensues.

The first question becomes whether the team even cares to try. It may view Haskins’ fully-guaranteed 2021 and 2022 salaries (which exceed $4.2 million combined) as a sunk cost and not even bother to attempt to avoid the cash and cap obligation. The team also could play hardball, and based on the language of Haskins’ contract there’s reason to think that the franchise could have a case to avoid paying Haskins more than the $10 million he already has received under the four-year, $14.4 million deal he signed as the 15th pick in the 2019 draft.

The language of Haskins’ contract, a copy of which PFT has obtained, has specific terminology that voids remaining guarantees based on something less than an actual suspension. Here’s the key language, regarding : “Player shall be deemed in Default of the Contract if Player takes any action that Club determines, in its reasonable discretion, undermines the public’s respect for . . . Player’s teammates, Club’s ownership, coaches, [or] management.”

The Haskins contract also says that, in the event of a default, all remaining guarantees “shall immediately be deemed NULL AND VOID.” (Emphasis in original.)

There’s another angle that potentially could apply in Haskins’ case. Cutting Haskins for “personal conduct that has adversely affected” the team would position Washington to argue that, even though Haskins’ salaries for 2021 and 2022 are guaranteed for injury, skill, and salary cap, he was cut for none of those reasons. That’s the approach the Ravens took when cutting safety Earl Thomas and attempting to avoid his $10 million guaranteed salary for 2020. (A grievance is still pending.)

Between last week’s COVID-19 escapades (the team fined Haskins $40,000), Haskins’ apparent attempt to skip a mandatory media obligation (he eventually complied), and whatever else precipitated Washington abruptly deciding to cut him, there’s surely a fact or two (or more) that could be used to make the case that Haskins should get nothing more than the $10 million he’s already gotten. Although a grievance undoubtedly would be filed, the facts always drive the outcome — and Haskins’ behavior (as confirmed by his multiple public apologies) could make it easier for an arbitrator to rule against him.

Again, this all depends on whether Washington chooses to fight. Based on the various pieces of litigation that owner Daniel Snyder is currently pursuing and/or defending, it’s safe to say that, if there’s a way to save some money and/or send a message, Snyder will be in favor of exercising his right to do so.

23 responses to “Washington, Dwayne Haskins potentially will do battle over more than $4.2 million

  1. It would be hard to make a case that he has done anything to show he deserves the remaining money.

  2. in ptwhat if eagles signed him for a data dump before next week’s game? then he and went could leave together for the cfl

  3. He already has enough money to live better then 99% of the world and never has to work another day in his life at age 23.

  4. Wouldn’t pay him a penny. He’s done nothing positive for the franchise. Snyder, do yourself a favor, listen to your football people. Let them run the draft, learn from your mistakes…. as many as you’ve made in football.

  5. $4.5 million is chump change compared to the $71 million dollars Alex Smith has been paid for suiting up for 15 games over 3 years. Just pay the man and move on.

  6. personally I think he did this on purpose just to get out of Washington , Im not a WFT fan but i do think it’s disgraceful to taint #7 ole joe gave you his blessings in hope you were mature enough to wear that number and bring the good ole days back. my advice grow up young man working for a living for real isn’t pretty.

  7. @lionsrule, interesting idea but anyone who’s seen Haskins play knows he has grasped so little of the WFT playbook that you wouldn’t get any intel of value from him.

  8. The Redskins could pay him and be done with it but playing hardball could send a message to him and any other future draft picks … either dedicate yourself to the team and the game or you wont get paid.

  9. Will be broke in 5 years. Might last a couple of more years before going broke if Washington does pay him.

  10. Can’t believe his agent would let him sign a contract with that kind of language in it that gives the team that much cause.

  11. This kid has become a symbol of everything fans hate about entitled players not working hard to make the most out of their chances and instead blowing off what many players would die for…a chance to make it in the League.

  12. Harsh but…make an example of him and send the message that players will be held to the standards established. Looking the other way simply enables further abuse by other players.

    Duh, Discipline 101.

  13. Has his play been horrible? No question. Did the kid make mistakes? No question, he exercised poor judgment on & off the field. Did the kid learn from his mistakes? Not a bit. Professional athletes – esp’y those w/ big contracts – get tutelage, guidance & direction from agents, their league, coaches & fellow teammates on personal conduct. This kid got a map w/ checkpoints & hip checks to the road of success. He chose exit ramps of bad judgment, irresponsibility & immaturity. Clearly, Haskins contract stipulated penalties for his actions. He blew it. Now, he’ll be forced to take responsibiltiy – that’s the harsh reality of the real world. The team owes him nothing from this point forward.

  14. 1) Because he played, he’s obviously getting the money. They have no case.

    2) Man, NFL agents are TERRIBLE!!!!

  15. blknyellow says:
    December 28, 2020 at 2:51 pm
    $4.5 million is chump change compared to the $71 million dollars Alex Smith has been paid for suiting up for 15 games over 3 years. Just pay the man and move on.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Now tell me how wins Smith (post 17 surgeries)has versus Haskins this season. Did Smith break NFL Covid protocols (multiple times) and bring more bad press to the team? Every dollar already spent on Haskins was wasted.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    digilat7 says:
    December 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm
    The problem is they played him Sunday…so the covid stuff/excuse is out the window…
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    What you believe does not make for a fact. You do realize that detrimental conduct can be influential well after the event. Why would the WFT need a Covid protocol excuse? How about the guy just consistently breaks rules set forth by the NFL with off-field conduct?

  16. IF they intended to pay him, why waive him? Just pay him and let him sit at home under contact and unable to do anything else.

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