Taylor Heinicke signs a 2-year deal with the Washington Football Team where he could earn up to $8.75 million with bonuses and incentives depending on playing time. What’s incredible is Heinicke’s Journey to this point.
Making it to the NFL and maintaining a lot of time in the league is not easy for anyone but for some, it’s even harder. Heinicke is a person who didn’t take no for an answer. All he cared about was playing football.
Taylor’s Early Days
Heinicke went to college at Old Dominion University (ODU) where he played football for them from 2011 to 2014. In his 2012 season, he threw for an FCS record 5,076 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He also punted 11 times for 475 yards.
He also broke the Division 1 record for throwing 730 yards and 5 touchdowns against New Hampshire. In his last two seasons, he finished with 3,500 yards and 4,000 yards.
Taylor Heinicke went undrafted in the 2015 draft but was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. Heinicke had to battle Mike Kafka for the backup sport and ultimately got it because Kafka suffered an injury.
Heinicke then suffered an injury and was released by the Vikings with an injury statement in 2017. He then signed to the New England Patriots practice squad in September of 2017 and was released in October of 2017.
In November 2017 he signed to the Houston Texans practice squad. Soon after he was put on the active roster in December to back up T.J. Yates. That same month Heinicke made his NFL Debut. He was put in for Yates who may have suffered a concussion.
Heinicke completed his 1 pass attempt and then had to be taken out of the game because he suffered a concussion. He was replaced by Yates who passed the concussion protocol test.
On April 13, 2018, he was waived by the Texans.
3 days later the Carolina Panthers picked up Heinicke off the waiver wire. He made his first career NFL start for current Washington head coach Ron Rivera in week 16. In that start, Heinicke went 33 of 53 for 274 yards, a touchdown, and 3 interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons.
Sadly for Taylor, he injured his elbow that game and spent the rest of the season sidelined. He resigned with the Panthers in 2019 but was cut before the season started.
He then went on to join the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL but got no playing time the whole season before the league was terminated due to Covid-19. After this Heinicke decided to continue his education at Old Dominion University.
Heinicke was taking a math class remotely when he received a call from his previous coach Ron Rivera. Rivera wanted Heinicke to be Washington’s quarantine quarterback.
After 2 years away from football, Heinicke would step on the field in the 4th quarter after 3 terrible quarters from now released Dwayne Haskins. Heinicke completed 12 of 19 passes for 127 and a touchdown.
He threw another touchdown which was called back which resulted in Washington’s loss but his play on the field showed Rivera that Taylor Heinicke is, in fact, a real contender in the NFL.
Alex Smith played the next week and won. In week 18 Rivera decided to start Heinicke against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Despite only having one NFL start Rivera believed in Heinicke.
In the first half, Heinicke threw 18 passes and completed 10 for 129 keeping his team within distance at halftime with a score of 18-7. His legs were a big part of the game scrambling for 46 yards on 6 carries and an 8-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 18-16.
He had to leave the game due to injury and was questionable for a return in the fourth quarter. When he came back in the game Washington was now down 28-16. Heinicke was not able to win the game, losing 31-23, but showed massive heart on the field.
Taylor Heinicke Signs a Two Year Deal
For a guy who was just at college completing his Masters, Taylor Heinicke proved he is on this earth to play football.