Dwayne Haskins: Release from Washington wasn’t completely surprising

Dwayne Haskins acknowledged Dec. 23 that he was down to his final opportunity to make good in Washington after violating COVID-19 protocols by attending a private birthday party. Five days later, Washington cut Haskins.

So obviously, Haskins, like anyone and everyone else, wasn’t exactly surprised by his release.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say I was surprised,” Haskins said Thursday, via NFL Media. “It’s just a part of the business. Wasn’t necessarily the people that, you know, were brought in by the new coaching staff and understanding that this is a business and realizing that as the season went on that things weren’t going the way that we both wanted it to.

“Just grateful for the opportunity Washington gave me, but it wasn’t completely surprising, but it was also definitely unfortunate to be able to be released the way that I was.”

Less than a month after his release, Haskins signed with the Steelers. It gives him a second chance to make good.

“I’ve been more concerned about Dwayne the person,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Getting to know him. Getting an understanding of what he’s been through and how that’s shaped him affected him positively, negatively. How it’s affected the growth and development of his game. I think more than anything, Dwayne and I are trying to get to know one another. I think it starts there, and then we can focus on some things relative to the game itself. I’ll leave some of the minutia and some of the details about his football development to him and (quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan) and (offensive coordinator Matt) Canada. I just want to get to know the young man and help him grow in that way.”

Washington coach Ron Rivera admitted in March that Haskins’ work ethic and commitment were issues, and recently retired quarterback Alex Smith previously noted that Haskins is “crazy gifted” but needs to eliminate the “distractions.”

Haskins vows to prove in Pittsburgh how much he loves football.