On March 10, 2022, Washington announced Kyle Allen will not return for the 2022 season.
Let’s go back to March 23, 2020, when Washington made its first trade in the Ron Rivera era, sending a 2020 fifth-round draft choice (148) to the Carolina Panthers for quarterback Kyle Allen.
The rationale behind the trade was understandably simple. First, it would reunite Allen, Rivera and new offensive coordinator Scott Turner, all three having been together previously as Carolina Panthers.
Secondly, Allen being familiar with Turner’s offensive system, vocabulary and preferences, could help Dwayne Haskins learn the offense. If Haskins was injured, Allen was intellectually prepped and ready.
Alex Smith having missed all of 2019 with his excruciating injury was doubtful for 2020. Colt McCoy had departed for the NY Giants and Case Keenum had also moved out to become a Cleveland Browns backup. Allen was actually needed, his contract would be inconsequential. It was a shrewd move by Washington.
But Haskins struggled on the field, in the quarterback meeting room and was benched. Allen (24) in a home loss to the NY Giants was leg-whipped by Jabrill Peppers, his ankle and foot twisted awkwardly with Allen suffering a dislocated ankle and a small fracture.
Alex Smith and the defense made enough plays that Washington enjoyed a four-game winning streak, finishing 7-9 winners of the NFC East. Rivera was asked during a press conference leading up to the final game at Philadelphia, “Could you have been in this position this year, right now, where you are with the playoffs, without Alex?”
It was one of those leading questions where everyone knows the answer as soon as the question is voiced. Rivera however shocked everyone, “Well, if we had a healthy Kyle Allen, I think we could’ve. I really do…” Rivera continued praising Allen for his good footwork, and decision-making.
When Taylor Heinicke struggled mightily in a home loss to Dallas, Rivera inserted Allen. Allen quickly displayed a stronger arm, connecting on a long-out pattern to Cam Sims. He also got the ball deep to DeAndre Carter, but Carter dropped the pass. Allen would also play late in the week 16 massacre at Dallas.
Rivera declared we would see some of Allen. It never transpired. Why did Rivera change his mind? Why even in the final game when Heinicke really struggled, was Allen not provided an opportunity? Rivera had praised Allen’s footwork, decision-making, and Allen had displayed a stronger arm. Why did Allen never take another snap? Why did Rivera sour on Kyle Allen?