Sam Darnold or Taylor Heinicke? JP Finlay says 'Give me Taylor Heinicke"

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Julius Long
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Darnold or Heinicke? JP Finaly says 'Give me Taylor Heinicke' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

As the Washington Football Team continues to search high and low for its next addition under center, they could potentially have a new quarterback prospect on the table - albeit a less than attractive one.

On Sunday, reports surfaced that if the Jets are open to a potential move for quarterback Sam Darnold - which seems likely - they would likely receive a call from the Washington Football Team. While Deshaun Watson may be at the top of everyone's QB wish list, new front-office executives Marty Hurney, Martin Mayhew and head coach Ron Rivera have expressed that at the end of the day the economics must make sense.

But on the latest episode of Washington Football Talk with JP Finlay, he highlighted the fact that the USC product might come at an affordable price, but only because of what he hasn't done since the Jets drafted him third overall in 2018.

"Darnold's not accurate at all. In three years in the NFL, he's completed fewer than 60% of his passes," Finlay said. "In 2020, 25 NFL quarterbacks completed 65% or more of their passes. That gap is just too wide for me. Give me Taylor Heinicke."

That gap should be too wide for Washington, as well. In his three seasons, Heinicke's opportunities have been limited, but he still holds a 62.3 career completion percentage, which is much more palatable than Darnold's 59.8 as a starter.

The conversation should end there. But if more needs to be said, in his performance against the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, Heinicke also showed that he has elite-level mobility, something Ron Rivera has said he would need from his starting quarterback and something Darnold has displayed sporadically, at best.

"I only want him if I'm getting him at a bargain basement price and that's a fourth-round pick, maybe a third round pick," co-host Mitch Tischler said. "If you give up real draft capital for a guy like Sam Darnold who's never shown much of anything, particularly accuracy or anything to lift the team up individually, it doesn't do it for me. 

The bottom line is that Darnold has an accuracy problem. Betting on that to go away simply by virtue of a jersey change would be bold, especially when you already have a more accurate and arguably more mobile passer in Heinicke.