On last week's episode of The District, I brought up an idea that was roundly shot down by my fellow District mates Marc, Robert and Chris, as well as CSN Washington's Tarik El-Bashir, who was kind enough to be one of our guests that night. The idea was this:
It's time to trade Robert Griffin III and get what they can for him.
As I mentioned on the show, I am a huge RG3 fan. I went to New York in 2012 for the sole purpose of watching him get drafted. I got even more than I hoped for in the 2012 season. I defended him endlessly through the 2013 season and even through most of last year.
However, there are now several reasons why I believe they should trade the player for whom I have dedicated most of my man-cave space. The first is that it is clear that head coach Jay Gruden, who is going into year two of a five-year deal, does not believe in him. He spent most of the 2014 season trying to find ways to keep Griffin off the field. This is a HUGE problem and one that should end the conversation alone. If the coach is actually in charge and has any input on his team, his opinion along with the general manager's should carry the most amount of weight, which apparently isn't the case.
The second reason to trade him is there is a lot of film on Griffin, who is now a three year veteran, and if you watch that film, there are way too many cases which demonstrate Griffin's inability to find the open man, even when he has a decent pocket from which to throw (granted, this can be a rare event). In addition, he has developed an official case of the pocket jitters. He rarely seems comfortable there and, once someone has developed those habits, it can be hard to break them. Griffin can still be very effective when you shorten the field and use his legs to move the pocket. The problem is, he doesn't want to be that kind of quarterback and has said so many times.
On a side note, which shouldn't be a deciding factor, his relationship with some of the fans has soured. His social media presence, combined with his on-field struggles, has lead to uncomfortable interactions, such as the case last week where Griffin actually had a back-and-forth on Instagram with a supposed Redskins fan who was criticizing him. It's incredible how quickly the DC lovefest for their 2012 savior has turned upside-down. He certainly still has his supporters, and you can count me among them, but because of my desire to see him succeed, I think a trade would be best for both parties.
If Griffin gets shipped to a new team who is starved for a quarterback, he will have a new beginning and one which comes with less pressure. He will no longer be the guy who was obtained for two additional first round picks and a second rounder. He will just be a guy who's new team gave up a conditional pick for him, and who can relax and play the game he loves.
It should also be noted that part of the reason I believe the team should make the move now is that many mock drafts have Marcus Mariota falling to the fifth pick in the draft. I believe Washington should only make this move if they were able to assure themselves of taking Mariota with that pick, then spend the rest of the draft wheeling and dealing to shore up the other deficiencies, which are obviously many. At that point, the Griffin drama would be elsewhere, Colt McCoy could be re-signed, and they could have a real quarterback competition between the two of them and Kirk Cousins. Then, let the best man win.
It has come out from two different sources that Griffin will basically be handed the job as the starter next season, despite the fact that we know Gruden's feelings on him. Chris Cooley said on ESPN 980 that there is a 95% chance of this. Jason Reid of the Washington Post said on the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan that he believes it is a 96% certainty. This, my friends, is dysfunction at it's most hideous. It seems to me the only way to cure this problem is to deal the player, since there is nothing we can do about the owner. Said owner Dan Snyder, by the way, has reportedly mentioned he is ready to make whatever changes are necessary to reverse the losing tide of his franchise.
A move like this would go a long way towards putting his money where his mouth is. Recently, Jason La Canfora, who must have also listened to our show last week, wrote that he also believes a trade could be the best move for the Redskins.
I now put it to you, Redskins fans. in the poll below. Have at it, and feel free to explain your vote in the comments section. Also, (shameless plug) be sure to listen to The District every Thursday night streaming live on Hogs Haven from 7pm - 8pm!