It certainly wasn’t the prettiest brand of football, but the Washington Football Team got back on the winning side of things on Thursday night, defeating the New York Giants on a last-second 43-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins.
The story of the game — other than Washington making Daniel Jones look like Lamar Jackson and the holding play that gave Hopkins a second chance at life after he missed his initial attempt from 48 yards — was, of course, Taylor Heinicke.
It’s only one start, but Ryan Fitzpatrick might return in his familiar backup role if Heinicke keeps performing at this level.
You know what made the night all the more meaningful for Heinicke? The 28-year-old earned a $125,000 incentive by logging at least a 60% snap share and picking up the win. That’s A LOT of money, but Heinicke earned it.
Taylor Heinicke cashed a conditional bonus by winning on Thursday night.
Heinicke signed a two-year, $4.75 million contract with the Football Team back in February. This playing incentive will be active through the duration of the deal. In an added bonus, Heinicke can earn up to $250k for every playoff win.
To put Heinicke’s contract into perspective, his $2.375 million salary ranks 45th (!) among quarterbacks this season. For context, that’s less guaranteed money than Mitchell Trubisky, CJ Beathard, Case Keenum, Mason Rudolph, Joe Flacco, Jordan Love, Tim Boyle (?), and Nick Foles, the Bears’ third-stringer.
Suffice it to say that Heinicke is grossly underpaid, but who could have foreseen Ryan Fitzpatrick getting injured in the first game? Either way, Heinicke was adamant that he’s done enough to keep the job for the rest of the season.
"“I do,” Heinicke told the NFL Network’s Michael Irvin after the win. “And I have confidence that I can do it, so if those guys in the locker room and the facility believe in me, that’s all that matters. And I think they do. So let’s try to keep this ball rolling.”"
Hard to disagree with Heinicke at this point. The former XFL backup has made two starts for Washington and has been excellent in both games…not to mention he almost willed the team to a victory in Week 1 against the Chargers.
After Thursday night’s win, Heinicke is completing 73.8% of his passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns to just one interception. Those numbers equate to a 104.4 passer rating, and he’ll take them into a huge road date vs Buffalo in Week 3.
The legend of Taylor Heinicke is very much alive and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. He just picked up his first official win of his NFL career and has an extra $125,000 in his pocket to show for it.