Kyle Allen is the newest quarterback for the Washington Redskins, brought in, we’re led to believe, to press last year’s top pick and owner Dan Snyder favorite, Dwayne Haskins.
Allen is supposed to press Haskins for the starter’s job.
Well, there is competition, and there is the illusion of competition.
Cam Newton — released by the Panthers Tuesday, one day after Allen was dealt to Washington for a fifth-round draft pick — would have been competition.
Actually, revise that. A healthy Newton would have beaten out Haskins seven out of seven days in any so-called competition. That is not the kind of competition, though, they really want for Haskins.
The Redskins want someone who can play the position if needed, push Haskins a little, but really pose no threat to the sensitive young man.
There is no reason to make life more difficult for Haskins.
He is the owner’s handpicked quarterback and is going to be the starter in 2020 no matter what coach Ron Rivera or anyone else other than Snyder wants.
So if you can live with that reality, then why not put Haskins into the best position you can for him to flourish. That includes doing whatever is necessary to make him feel comfortable about the team’s commitment to him.
After all, Haskins hardly had that commitment from Jay Gruden and the coaching staff last year.
If this sounds dysfunctional, it’s because it is.
The notion of protecting “Dan’s” young friend from any real threat of being beat out for the Redskins’ starting job isn’t an idea a winning franchise would entertain.
But that is life at Redskins Park, no matter how much culture Rivera professes to seek to change.
Besides, Haskins showed just enough, after a rough start last year, in his final games to believe he can play in this league. He could be your quarterback.
Even if Haskins is the guy, even if he is a legitimate NFL quarterback, his cozy relationship with Snyder will create problems for Rivera.
If he is successful on the field, all you can hope for is that Haskins matures enough to realize his influence with Snyder could be destructive to the team.
The trade of a fifth-round pick for Allen underscores the Redskins’ commitment to Haskins — while also giving them a competent backup.
He was an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2018, signed by the Panthers as a third-stringer. He moved up to be Newton’s understudy, then became the starter when Newton was sidelined early last year with an injury.
He appeared in 13 games, starting in 12, completing 303 of 489 passes for 3,322 yards, a 62% completion rate, with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
He showed last year that at times, he could run Rivera’s offense well. In a 24-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, he went 28 of 43 for 307 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Veteran tight end Greg Olsen raved about Allen after the game at Lambeau Field.
“I’ve played with a lot of good quarterbacks. And that’s as good a performance, considering the circumstances, I’ve ever played with.”
After a 34-31 loss to New Orleans in which Allen completed 23 of 36 for 256 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, Rivera spoke glowingly of Allen’s potential.
“Kyle learns and very seldom makes the same mistake twice,” Rivera told reporters. “He gets it, he understands. That’s one of the biggest strengths he has.”
He’s not Newton. But let’s face it. The Redskins weren’t looking for that kind of competition in the quarterbacks room.
Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan podcast Tuesdays and Thursdays.