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QB Heinicke leaves Washington, signing with Falcons

Published on: 03/15/2023


Quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s time with the Washington Commanders is over.

The signal caller plans to sign a two-year deal worth up to $20 million to join the Atlanta Falcons. The NFL Network was the first to report his departure.

Heinicke confirmed his exit from Washington in an Instagram post, thanking fans for supporting him during his time with the Commanders.

“The love and support has been unmatched the last couple years,” he said. “The memories I’ll cherish forever. You gave me a second chance and it’s forever changed my life.”

For Heinicke, it’s a homecoming. He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and played at Collins Hills High School in suburban Atlanta.

Heinicke, who turns 30 on Wednesday, started 24 regular-season games over two seasons in Washington, completing 64% of his passes for 5,278 yards with 32 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He went undrafted out of college at Old Dominion in 2015 and bounced around to four NFL teams and the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks before landing in the nation’s capital.

Heinicke was on Washington’s practice squad starting in 2020 before being promoted in December to the active roster. He wound up making his second career start in the wild-card round of the playoffs after Alex Smith was ruled out with an injury.

Heinicke completed 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, and rushed for a TD in a 31–23 loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.

In 2021, Heinicke began the season as a backup, but he took over the top spot again after an injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick. In 15 starts, he threw for 3,419 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Heinicke also rushed for 313 yards and a score.

Heinicke began the 2022 season as the backup and took over in Week 7 after Carson Wentz was sidelined with a fractured finger. He guided the Commanders to a 5-3-1 record before Wentz returned in the next-to-last game with the team needing a win to stay in playoff contention.

An ugly home loss to the Cleveland Browns had the fans clamoring for Heinicke, to no avail. Wentz has since been released after one season with the Commanders.

Heinicke’s underdog story and his performances as a starter throughout his three seasons in Washington made him a fan favorite and beloved by his teammates. However, with Sam Howell impressing many with his performance in the Commanders’ win over the Cowboys in the season finale, Heinicke’s future with the team became uncertain.

Now, he heads to the Falcons to compete for a starting job with Desmond Ridder, who started the last four games of his rookie season after taking over for Marcus Mariota.

Washington began its offseason moves this week by re-signing defensive tackle Daron Payne to a four-year deal and adding depth and versatility to its offensive line by adding former Kansas City Chiefs tackle/guard Andrew Wylie and ex-New York Giants center/guard Nick Gates.

Author :Jose Umana

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