Taylor Heinicke hoped an impressive performance in his playoff debut would keep him in the NFL.
It did more than that.
Heinicke re-signed with Washington on Wednesday, a two-year deal worth $8.75 million. The 27-year-old who was out of football and taking college classes online when he joined the practice squad as “quarantine quarterback” in December now has a full-time job and potentially a chance to compete for the starting role.
“I’ve never felt I had two feet in the door,” Heinicke said. “I’ve always felt that I’ve been fighting either trying to make practice squad or even make the (roster). It’s always been kind of one foot in, one foot out. Now I actually feel like there’s a little more security there. This is the first time I’ve felt that being in the league, so it’s a great feeling.”
Heinicke went toe to toe with Tom Brady in Washington's wild-card round loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Buccaneers. He was 26 of 44 for 306 yards, a touchdown pass and an interception and rushing for a team-high 46 yards and a score.
Now he'll be in Washington’s QB mix, which remains very much in flux. Coach Ron Rivera indicated Kyle Allen will be back but was noncommittal about Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith being on the roster in 2021.
“It’s going to be a competition,” Heinicke said. “I think that’s the best way to do it. I think that’s what Coach Rivera has said, also he’s harped on that. I think that’s best for everybody.”
Washington could also trade for or sign a veteran to compete with Heinicke and Allen or use the No. 19 draft pick on a developmental prospect.