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Taylor Heinicke gets his payday in Washington after breakout playoff performance vs. Bucs

Jason Owens
·2-min read

After turning heads with a breakout performance against Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs, Taylor Heinicke has his payday.

The Washington Football Team announced on Wednesday that they signed the journeyman quarterback to a two-year contract extension. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is worth $8.75 million with incentives tied to starts.

In terms of NFL quarterback money, Heinicke didn't break the bank. In terms of a 27-year-old who had previously earned $1.9 million while bouncing around the NFL for five seasons and was out of the league in 2019, that's life-changing money.

Jan 9, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) passes the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Will Taylor Heinicke compete for a starting job in Washington? (Geoff Burke/Reuters)

Heinicke turned heads vs. Bucs

Heinicke earned the contract thanks to his effort in a surprise postseason start in the wild-card round. Alex Smith wasn't available with a calf injury, and Washington had recently released Dwayne Haskins, leaving the team to lean on a quarterback who just one year prior was a backup for the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks.

Heinicke responded by helping Washington give the Bucs arguably the toughest playoff test of their Super Bowl run. He completed 26 of 44 pass attempts for 306 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 31-23 Bucs win. He also made plays with his feet, rushing six times for 46 yards and a jaw-dropping touchdown.

Washington obviously didn't get the win that day. But it got a good luck at a quarerback it ultimately decided to keep on the roster.

Will Heinicke compete for starting job?

Washington's quarterback situation heading into next season is wide open. The franchise bailed on a disappointing Haskins two seasons after making him a first-round pick. Smith, 36 with a serious injury history, obivously isn't the future. So there could be more opportunity for Heinicke to make an impression and take advantage of his starter incentives.

Washington is likely to make some moves at quarterback duing the offseason. But Heinicke is now squarely in the mix at the position.

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