- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Tua-to-D.C. train may be picking up steam.

When the Washington Redskins met with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa last week at the NFL scouting combine, he was apparently told there would be competition at the quarterback position if the team picked him in the upcoming NFL draft.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported the Redskins told Tagovailoa there was interest in having him compete with Dwayne Haskins. 

A Redskins official on Sunday pushed back on parts of the report, telling The Washington Times that, contrary to the Sun Sentinel story, coach Ron Rivera was not on hand for the meeting with Tagovailoa.

The Redskins also said Haskins’ name was not brought up directly in the meeting.

Still, if the Redskins want competition at the position, it’s clear Haskins and Tagovailoa would be the two front-runners for the starting gig.

“They felt like Dwayne was not the guy right now,” a source told the Florida paper. “They want to bring in Tua, just get it going and compete.”

The Redskins own the No. 2 pick in the draft, behind only the Cincinnati Bengals, who are widely expected to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Although it first seemed Washington was destined to take Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young at No. 2, rumors have picked up about the Redskins either trading down or going with Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa injured his hip in November and missed the rest of his junior season at Alabama. He declared for the NFL draft and all reports so far have indicated that his recovery is going as well as it can, which is improving his draft stock.

Washington drafted Haskins No. 15 overall last year. Reports later emerged that Dan Snyder had a preference for Haskins, a local product who played at the same high school that the team owner’s son attended.

Since then, coach Jay Gruden and president Bruce Allen were fired and Rivera was hired in an effort to change the team’s culture. Rivera, the former Carolina Panthers coach, could want his own pick of a quarterback to start his new tenure.

At the NFL scouting combine last week, Rivera told reporters the Redskins would meet with both Tagovailoa and Burrow. But he complimented Haskins — while continuing to avoid making a firm commitment to the second-year player as the franchise quarterback.

“We have a very good young player, OK?” Rivera said. “The more we break down about him, the more we learn about him, I think it puts us in a pretty good spot.”

Other teams will be in on Tagovailoa and perhaps willing to trade up with Washington to get him, which puts the Redskins in a powerful position to make whatever call they deem is best for the future of the team.

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