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The Redskins traded for a quarterback coach Ron Rivera is plenty familiar with. Just not that one.
Washington on Monday acquired Kyle Allen from the Carolina Panthers for a fifth-round pick and traded cornerback Quinton Dunbar to the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth-round pick, according to a person with knowledge of the moves. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deals had not been announced.
Getting Allen is not as big a splash as getting Cam Newton, but the 24-year-old becomes some semblance of competition for 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. Rivera coached Allen with Carolina the past two seasons before being fired.
Rivera repeatedly praised Allen’s toughness and said, “He doesn’t let things faze him.”
“I’m not concerned about Kyle’s learning curve,” Rivera said last season. “He’s a young quarterback who is going to make young mistakes. But that is why you put him out there. We’re going to live with his learning pains because that is what the game is all about.”
Allen has thrown for 3,588 yards, 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 15 NFL games in 2018 and 2019, all with the Panthers. He became their starter last season when Newton got hurt, finished with 23 turnovers and was benched for rookie Will Grier the final two weeks after Carolina fell out of the playoff hunt.
The Panthers signed Allen as an undrafted free agent out of Houston. He has expressed gratitude for Rivera giving him a chance.
“There weren’t many places for me or opportunities coming out of college, and Coach Rivera gave me that opportunity,” Allen said. “In camp and everything we did in practices, he never just treated me as camp arm. … He always gave me opportunities, and without him I don’t know where I would be right now.”
Rivera made it clear upon taking over control of Washington’s football operations that he wanted a veteran to compete with Haskins for the starting job. The Ohio State product completed 58.6% of his passes and threw for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions during his rookie year.
The Redskins appeared likely to fill the void at quarterback from the outside and let Colt McCoy and Case Keenum leave in free agency. Allen became available when Carolina agreed to terms with XFL star P.J. Walker on a two-year deal.
Washington continued its roster makeover by sending a disgruntled player in Dunbar to Seattle and completing a few other moves. The team made deals official with tight end Logan Thomas and safety Sean Davis, re-signed defensive lineman Caleb Brantley and released safety Montae Nicholson and four other defensive backs.
Dunbar asked for a raise that would’ve fit with his promotion to No. 1 cornerback after the release of Josh Norman. When that didn’t materialize, the Redskins traded him and could turn to Kendall Fuller in that role after bringing him back on a multiyear deal.
The Redskins are also listening to trade offers for left tackle Trent Williams, who sat out all of last season in a dispute with the front office. Williams and Dunbar both criticized the team’s medical staff, which was overhauled after president Bruce Allen was fired.
Nicholson’s release comes after a couple of troubling off-field incidents over the past 18 months. A 21-year-old woman died in November after Nicholson dropped her off at a hospital, and in 2018 he was arrested and charged with assault and battery after a fight at a restaurant and retail complex near the team’s practice facility in Ashburn, Virginia.