ASHBURN, Va. (WAVY) — Former Old Dominion University quarterback Taylor Heinicke has signed a 2-year extension with the Washington Football Team after a breakout performance in the playoffs this season against Tampa Bay.
The 27-year-old undrafted free agent threw for 306 yards and a touchdown and ran for another (a full-extension dive to the pylon) in the first round matchup with the eventual Super Bowl champs, coming up just short in the 31-23 loss at home.
He gained league-wide respect after that outing, including from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and apparently did well enough for Washington to offer a significant sum of money.
He’s set to reportedly make $8.75 million in that 2-year contract.
Heinicke may have an opportunity to start for Washington next season. Kyle Allen is staying, but it’s still unclear if veteran quarterback Alex Smith will return.
“We all saw how Taylor Heinicke played in the playoff game,” said executive vice president of personnel and football Marty Hurney. “First, you start with evaluating your roster. Then you look at the quarterbacks that are out there. A lot of times it’s all about timing in the draft, what position you’re in and who’s out there available.”
The Tampa Bay game was Heinicke’s first ever start for Washington, coming just over a month after the Football Team signed him as a backup. He was tapped to start after Smith was placed on the inactive list due to a calf injury.
Before the signing with Washington, Heinicke had yet to find a stable home in the league, and was actually taking graduate classes back in Norfolk this fall when he got the call from Washington.
Heinicke started all four years in his ODU career from 2011 to 2014, leading the Monarchs to the FCS playoffs two times. He passed for nearly 15,000 yards in those four seasons.
His former head coach Bobby Wilder tweeted his excitement after hearing the news.
Watch his greatest moments at ODU below.