"I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways," Ron Rivera said in a statement Monday

By Ashley Boucher
December 28, 2020 05:11 PM
Dwayne Haskins
| Credit: Will Newton/Getty

Dwayne Haskins has been released by the Washington football team.

Haskins, 23, was released on Monday after he was benched Sunday in the Washington team's game against the Carolina Panthers, who won 20-13.

"This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him," coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways. We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward."

"I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB & will become a better man & player because of this experience," Haskins said in a tweet, according to ESPN.

During a conference call with reporters earlier on Monday, Rivera said that he hopes Haskins will learn from his recent experiences on the team — which included being fined $40,000 for violating the league's novel coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols.

"Sometimes you have to go through hard knocks. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can dig your way back out of it. Sometimes a change helps," he said, per ESPN.

"With Dwayne, it's: What have you learned? What are you going to take from these experiences that are going to help you grow and get better? That's the big thing with him and the thing I hope he learns from these experiences," Rivera said. "Hopefully, they'll make him stronger and they'll help him and, hopefully, when he gets his next opportunity, he'll make the best of it."

Haskins was disciplined for violating COVID-19 rules twice this season: last week, when he was photographed without a face mask at a nightclub, and earlier this season when he invited a friend to the team hotel before a game. The previous breach in protocol earned him a $4,833 fine.

"I want to publicly apologize for my actions this past Sunday," Haskins said in a statement on Twitter last week before making his account private. "I spoke with Coach [Ron] Rivera yesterday and took full accountability for putting the team at risk."

"It was irresponsible and immature of me and I accept responsibility for my action," the Ohio State University alum continued. "I also want to apologize for creating a distraction for my team during our playoff push. I will learn and grow from this and do what’s best for the team moving forward."

ESPN reported that in the Washington team's upcoming game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Taylor Heinicke — who finished the game against the Panthers Sunday — will start as quarterback if Alex Smith is not able to play.