The Washington Redskins have traded for former Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday, adding a passer to the team’s position group alongside last year’s first-round draft pick, Dwayne Haskins.
NFL Network reported that Washington is sending a fifth-round pick in next month’s draft to Carolina in exchange for Allen.
Monday’s trade gives the Redskins a young but experienced quarterback who is familiar with new coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner, who coached Allen the past two seasons with Carolina. Allen started 12 games in 2019 after Cam Newton went down in Week 2 with a season-ending foot injury. Allen played well at times, throwing for 3,322 yards and 17 touchdowns, but he also had 16 interceptions and stumbled in the season’s closing weeks as Rivera was fired and the Panthers’ playoff hopes dissolved.
Allen figures to be able to push Haskins in training camp and serve as a potential safety net for the new staff should Haskins not develop as they hope.
Since his hiring Dec. 31, Rivera has praised Haskins while also making clear that he will not simply hand the starting position to him. Haskins, who was the 15th pick in last spring’s draft, finished last season as Washington’s starter. Rivera has said several times that he wants to bring in another quarterback to compete with Haskins, and when asked at last month’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis what kind of battle he wanted Haskins to face this offseason, Rivera said, “very competitive competition.”
Rivera has held open the possibility that Alex Smith can possibly return from the horrific leg injury he suffered in 2018. But the 24-year-old Allen represents a more certain challenge to the 22-year-old Haskins. Allen was not picked in the 2018 draft after starting at both Texas A&M and Houston, signing with the Panthers after the draft. He played two games at the end of that season, starting one, after Rivera shut down a hobbled Newton for the rest of the year. He entered last year as the No. 2 passer and then took over in relief of Newton.
Allen started strong early, winning five of his first six starts before losing his last seven. He was impressive in his victories, throwing nine touchdowns against one interception. But he struggled in the losses, sometimes with ugly results. He was intercepted four times in one defeat and sacked seven times in two others. One of those seven-sack games was a 29-21 loss to the Redskins on Dec. 1 that turned out to be Rivera’s final game as Panthers coach.
Though Allen signed a one-year, $585,000 contract with Carolina this month, he did not seem to fit the plans of new coach Matt Rhule, who agreed to sign former New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last week and reportedly added former XFL star PJ Walker on Monday.