Taylor Heinicke: With our contracts, I don’t think beating out Carson Wentz is an option

Washington Commanders Off-Season Workout
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Last year, Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke entered the season as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup.

Then Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury that ended his season in Week One. So Heinicke became the team’s starter for 15 of the last 16 games, missing one contest while on the COVID-19 list.

Heinicke compiled a 7-8 record as a starter, completing 65 percent of his passes for 3,419 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

But Heinicke knew the Commanders would go after another quarterback in the offseason, which they did by acquiring Carson Wentz.

So now even though Heinicke has experience and showed some flashes, he knows it’s unrealistic to think that he can knock Wentz off from being Washington’s starter this year — in large part because of their respective contracts.

I don’t think that’s an option,” Heinicke said in his Wednesday press conference. “You look at the NFL and at the end of the day, it’s kind of a business. If you’re paying someone $30 million and you’re paying someone else $2 million — you’re paying this guy $30 million to play, you know?

“Carson’s a great quarterback and you see it through OTAs and minicamp. And I hope he goes out there and succeeds. And again, my job is just to back him up. Hopefully, he’s on his deal, help him out in whatever way I can, and if for some reason he goes down, I’m ready to go play. That’s how I look at it. But, again, the NFL’s a business. You’re paying a guy a lot of money, you’re paying him money for a reason. He’s gonna go play.”

Heinicke’s right in that Washington is likely to give Wentz every opportunity to show he can be a viable NFL quarterback this season. But based on the way Wentz’s last two seasons have gone, it’s probably wise to never say never.

14 responses to “Taylor Heinicke: With our contracts, I don’t think beating out Carson Wentz is an option

  1. Carson can be a pretty decent QB when healthy, but his health is a big question mark. Chances are we’ll see Heinicke starting at last a couple games this year. From there, who knows what happens.

  2. He may not beat him out, but based on history…he is going to start a fair number of games this year. A lot of games this year.

  3. Inexpensive rookie Russell Wilson once beat out highly paid Free agent Matt Flynn in Seattle. So it is possible, though unlikely.

  4. They never should have traded for Wentz, Heinke is a better QB the film doesn’t lie. Weantz is a total bust at this point and he cant stay on the field, always injured.

  5. Coaches will play the best player… ownership will want to see their investment pay off… and Dan Snyder still runs that team… mostly into the ground…

  6. Cannot have that mindset. Money doesn’t equal better. Go out and compete see where the chips fall

  7. Missing from the conversation, is that Heinike just isn’t very good. He doesn’t have the ability to beat out Wentz, which is kinda sad because Wentz is also not that good.

  8. That’s what they said in Seattle when they signed Matt Flynn to a $26M contract and drafted Russell Wilson in the third round. But when Carroll said it was an open competition he meant it. When Wilson played better Flynn sat on the bench and the rest s history.

    So if Heinicke’s mindset is that of a backup then he’ll never be anything more than just that…a backup.

  9. Heinicke will have a longer career than Wentz. I hope he says the support thing to be that Team guy but has a mindset to beat Wentz.

  10. So why even show up? Having a defeated mindset isnt helping you or the team. If there is one thing we know about Carson Wentz, its that his back up better be ready to play.

  11. Heinike is injury insurance, and I guarantee that insurance policy will be cashed in sometime in 2022.

  12. there’s certainly one team where it absolutely positively doesn’t work that way. If you play better you start and the high paid guy on the bench is traded (usually to cleveland) or released in short order. No coincidence they win more than any other team.

  13. Not being good enough, too small and having a weak arm may have something to do with it. If it makes him feel better though, happy for him.

    And whoever said he was better than Wentz needs to get their eyes checked. Even at his worst Wentz can at least beat out Heinicke.

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