Michael Wilbon: Heinicke earned deal by performing better vs. Bucs than Mahomes

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ethan Cadeaux
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Wilbon: Heinicke earned deal by better play vs. Bucs than Mahomes originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Just over three months ago, Taylor Heinicke was out of the NFL. On Wednesday, the quarterback signed a two-year extension with the Washington Football Team.

That's the type of contract you earn when you ball out against the eventual Super Bowl champions, at least according to ESPN's Michael Wilbon.

"This new deal is rewarding. It's rewarding because Taylor Heinicke was out there and did a better job against Tampa's defense than the 'Baby Goat,'" Wilbon said on Pardon the Interruption on Wednesday.

The "Baby Goat" Wilbon is referring to is Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who's Chiefs scored the fewest points of his NFL career this past Sunday in their Super Bowl LV loss to the Buccaneers. Yes, Mahomes did have multiple starting offensive linemen out against one of the NFL's best pass rush units, but the former MVP was not able to establish much of a rhythm all evening.

Download and subscribe to the Washington Football Talk podcast

When Washington played that same Tampa Bay team (minus star linebacker Devin White) in the Wild Card round, Heinicke excelled. The 27-year-old, making his first career playoff start, threw for 306 yards and a touchdown in the game while adding 46 yards and an incredible touchdown with his legs.

Washington had the chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter before Tampa's defense made one last stop, but Heinicke's performance was exceptional nonetheless.

"He scored some points, he kept the Washington Football Team in contention," Wilbon said.

The Buccaneers defense played a major role in the team's second franchise title. Future Hall of Famers Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, as well as the league's best QB in Mahomes, all had their struggles against Tampa's defense throughout the Bucs title run.

By signing Heinicke to an incentive-based two-year deal worth up to $8.75 million, Washington didn't spend a lot of money on a quarterback who could potentially be its starter moving forward, either. Washington will still be looking to upgrade the position this offseason, but there's no guarantee the unit looks different than the Alex Smith, Kyle Allen and Heinicke trio come the fall.

To Wilbon, Heinicke's new deal is a reward for putting up an amicable fight against one of the league's best defenses in the postseason, especially after witnessing some of the great QBs this sport has ever seen struggle against the same unit.

"This was a nice little pat on the head saying thank you for a job well done," Wilbon said. "Heinicke deserves that for what he did in that playoff game."