What were the most memorable moments of quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s short but inspiring spell with the Washington Commanders?
The man, the myth, the legend has left the building and is returning home.
Taylor Heinicke signed a two-year, $14 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, which included a $4 million signing bonus. Not bad for someone who was unemployed and sleeping on his sister’s couch a little over two years ago before signing with the Washington Commanders.
Heinicke optimizes the American Dream. Some may say he’s lucky, but luck is when opportunity meets hard work, and the signal-caller sure had to work hard to get to where he is.
At a hair over six feet and around 210 pounds, you wouldn’t think Heinicke was a professional quarterback. And for a long time, you’d be right.
After a stunning college career at Old Dominion, he went undrafted. Then, Heinicke bounced around the league – getting cut four times in four years – before becoming a backup in the XFL.
But he continued to have one man believe in him, Scott Turner. Sometimes that is all you need. After getting his shot and going toe-to-toe with Tom Brady in the 2021 Wild Card game, he won the belief of his teammates and eventually the fanbase.
Yes, if you look at the metrics, they don’t say much. His 12-12-1 record as a starter isn’t amazing, but it’s still better than Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III, Jason Campbell, Mark Brunell, Donovan McNabb, Trent Green, and Doug Williams. Clearly, Washington hasn’t had the best luck with the quarterback position.
Yes, Heinicke is a limited passer and can sometimes make head-scratching decisions, but one thing he doesn’t lack is heart. The man doesn’t give up. He never says die. He never quits. And that is why he gets respect.
There were countless times when Heinicke made a mistake, such as throwing a late interception. However, he would bounce right back on the next drive.
In Week 2 of the 2021 campaign, Heinicke threw a late pick, letting the New York Giants take a 29-27 lead. But he brought the team into field goal range to pick up the win.
In Week 13 of the same season, Heinicke’s late interception allowed the Las Vegas Raiders to take a 15-14 lead. Once again, the quarterback got the team into kicking range for victory.
Heinicke threw an interception with just over 12 minutes left against the Indianapolis Colts to take a 16-7 lead. But, once again, the Houdini-esque man under center worked his magic and the Commanders came away with the triumph.
I for one want to thank Heinicke for all the memories. Let’s take a look at the top five highlights from his career in Washington.