Real details on Taylor Heinicke's contract reveal win/win situation

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JP Finlay
·3 min read
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Real details on Taylor Heinicke's contract reveal win/win situation originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team locked up quarterback Taylor Heinicke to a two-year deal earlier this week, and after obtaining more specifics on his new contract, the move looks better for both sides. 

In the immediate moments after the contract was announced, two camps emerged for Washington fans - that Heinicke got too much money or too little. 

Both are wrong. The deal is right for the team and for the QB. 

Let's begin - Heinicke's body of work is incredibly small, and while he was very impressive against the Bucs in a Wild Card loss throwing for 300 yards and running for nearly another 50, there would not have been a robust free agency market for the career backup. 

Heinicke was wise to take Washington's offer, particularly with the $1 million signing bonus. Why? He was an exclusive rights free agent, meaning Ron Rivera's team could have just slapped a tender on the passer and kept the bonus cash. 

Washington didn't do that because they valued the player Heinicke is, and what he could become, even in a backup role. 

Now, for the people that think Washington paid too much, that's also wrong. Loud wrong. 

Should Heinicke emerge victorious in a 2021 training camp battle for the starting QB job? Then Washington will have one of the biggest steals in the NFL. 

Heinicke will count about $1.6 million on the salary cap for 2021. Let's examine that as it compares to the rest of the NFC East.

Assuming Daniel Jones is the Giants starter next year, he will count more than $7 million on the cap. If Dallas brings back Dak Prescott, his cap number will probably be 300 percent higher than Heinicke. If Carson Wentz stays with the Eagles, that's $36 million on the Philly cap. 

And if Heinicke gets to September and will be Washington's backup? He's still super cheap. 

Case Keenum counts $7.3 million on the Browns' salary cap and threw 10 passes last season. Jacoby Brissett counted $21 million on the Colts' cap last season and threw eight passes. All year. That's more than $2.5 million-per-throw.

Heinicke got some guaranteed cash, which was no sure thing, and he's happy. He also gets to stay with the only coach and offensive coordinator that's ever believed in him. That matters too.

Washington got a valuable tool in their QB rebuild - a highly capable backup with an intriguing upside at a very attractive price. 

It's a win-win, and that doesn't happen too often.