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Washington signs Taylor Heinicke to $8M 2-year deal

The 27-year-old quarterback showed grit diving for the pylon on a touchdown run to nearly lead Washington to its first postseason win since 2005.

WASHINGTON — Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has gone from grad schooler to multimillionaire as the Washington Football Team agreed on a contract extension for the Week 14 signee.

Washington signed Heinicke on a 2-year deal Wednesday reportedly worth almost $9 million. The Old Dominion product had been taking online classes two months ago, until joining the WFT practice squad Dec. 8.

Sources say there are also incentives on the $8.75 million deal depending on how many games he starts.

Heinicke stepped into the starting role and gave an impressive performance in their first-round playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He threw for 306 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the 23-31 Wild Card game, but showed his grit diving for the pylon on an 8-yard third quarter touchdown to make it a 2-point game.

"Everyone knows I was at home taking math classes," Heinicke said of his signing, according to the team. "It's a big sigh of relief. I'm really excited. This is the place I wanted to be, so everything came together pretty smoothly, and I'm really excited to be back."

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The only other game Heinicke played in was the 13-20 loss to Carolina on Dec. 27 after Dwayne Haskins was benched with three turnovers. The Pittsburgh Steelers signed the Potomac Bullis High schooler following a tumultuous run that started with Washington drafting him 15th overall in 2019.

Heinicke, 27, is entering his sixth NFL season after time with the Panthers, Texans and Vikings, who picked him up as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

The extension could leave Washington with a battle between signal-callers because 2020 Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith returned from a severe broken leg and played eight games this season. 

The WFT seeks to build on a promising first season (7-10) under head coach Ron Rivera. Heinicke's journey, reuniting with his former Panthers coach, from final exam studying to almost leading Washington to its first postseason win since 2005 should backstop that effort.

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