In the least surprising NFL news since the league’s nine-figure “accounting error,” the Skins’ team president made it more or less official: Robert Griffin III’s tumultuous four-year stay in Washington is at an end.
Speaking on the radio yesterday, Bruce Allen wished Griffin well in whichever uniform he plays next season:
“I see Robert getting an opportunity with another team. We’ve heard from some teams that are interested. I think he’s going to have a choice of a couple teams that will let him excel in the future.”
We’ve known for a year that Griffin had played his last snap in D.C., ever since the Skins exercised his fifth-year, $16 million option, a decision that may have actually hastened his exit. The move was insurance for 2016, but it would have become guaranteed with injury—so Griffin rode the bench all year, unable to even get into any games and show if he has value left because the team didn’t want to risk him getting hurt and being stuck with him.
After a season at third-string, Griffin can be released before March 9 without counting against next year’s salary cap. The Skins have actually been able to release him since Feb. 8, but they’re hanging on to him as long as possible as they hope against hope that another team will be willing to trade for him. That’s not likely—Griffin would have to restructure his contract, because no other team wants to pay him that $16M option, plus why give up even a low draft pick when he’ll be on the open market in a couple of weeks?—but the Skins lose nothing by waiting.
You can bet Griffin will have options as a free agent. No one should presume to know what type of player he can be, four years and a bunch of injuries removed from his one truly great season, but even that small chance of success gives him a leg up in the NFL’s largely mediocre quarterback pool.