The Washington Redskins came into the offseason needing a backup quarterback for the 2020 campaign, and now, it appears as though Ron Rivera has found his man.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Redskins have agreed to a trade for Panthers backup quarterback Kyle Allen. The deal will send a fifth-round pick (Pick No. 148) to Carolina in exchange for the Houston product, reuniting Rivera with his signal caller from last year, and infusing the Panthers’ rebuild with more draft capital.
Allen, who recently turned 24 years old, was an undrafted free agent who managed to stick with the Panthers in the 2018 season. Allen started the final game of 2018 for the Panthers, leading them to a win, and subsequently started 12 games in 2019 when Cam Newton’s health prevented him from staying on the field.
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At the peaks of his performance, there was talk that Allen might replace Newton as the Panthers’ quarterback of the future, but over time, he regressed back to the mean, revealing himself to be a journeyman signal caller. In the twelve games he started in 2019, Allen completed 303 of 489 attempts for 3,322 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. In a loss against Dwayne Haskins and the Redskins in Week 12, Allen threw for 27 completions, 278 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick on 46 attempts.
For the Redskins, Allen provides a unique blend of youth and experience as a backup quarterback, and while a fifth-round pick is a steep price, it’s understandable why Ron Rivera paid it. Allen is familiar with Scott Turner’s offensive system, and with a potentially shortened offseason on the way, due to the Coronavirus, having a quarterback in-house who brings a pre-existing understanding of Turner’s offense should be valuable.
Allen can also provide competition for Haskins, but Haskins should be able to win the starting job. While Haskins developed nicely over the latter half of the 2019 season, Allen regressed, and his flaws were made more apparent with more reps. He’s far from a perfect quarterback, but he’s a young, relatively seasoned player who has experience with the offense, and in time, he could prove to be a reliable long-term backup.