The drama continues in Washington, and once again involves Robert Griffin III. An ESPN report from Adam Schefter and Diana Russini outlines an organization that still has serious dysfunction at the top. The "football people" have determined that the team needs to make a change at QB, and move on from RG3, but they are reportedly not getting approval from owner Dan Snyder...yet.
High-ranking Washington Redskins front-office officials and coaches want to part ways with quarterback Robert Griffin III, but are meeting resistance from team ownership, according to team and league sources.
The Redskins even have had trade conversations about Griffin with a handful of NFL teams, but have found no interest, and it remains unclear whether ownership would allow Washington to trade him, sources said.
A lot to process in those two paragraphs. The front office official could be Scot McCloughan who met with Dan Snyder for a few hours recently. Many reports have indicated that Jay Gruden is a non-believer in Robert Griffin III. Gruden would not commit to a starting QB after last night's victory over the Ravens, citing Griffin's concussion and the need to review the film. He also said he was empowered with the final say, but would consult with GM Scot McCCloughan, President Bruce Allen, Owner Dan Snyder, and his coaching staff.
"Those tweets, I don't really respond to those things. there's a lot of sources out there. I don't know where they're coming from," Gruden said. "But I think I've always been told I have the final say of who plays quarterback and I don't think that's changed. You know, Scot and I will have a long discussion, and obviously, he's part of our organization as is Bruce Allen as is Dan Snyder and we'll all talk about it. But, we're going to put the best 53 on the field that we thinks going to win against Miami, period. There's no hidden agendas whatsoever. This is a Washington Redskins decision and i have total faith we'll make the right one - all of us together."
The other important note in the ESPN report is that there have been trade discussions with other teams, but there is apparently no interest right now. If Griffin were traded, the team acquiring RGIII would take his $3.7 million fully guaranteed salary for this year, but would also be responsible for the 5th-year option with a $16.155 million price tag. Per Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap, the option is a potentially huge problem for a potential trade, and a new deal would have to be made for something to happen.
If a trade were to occur my guess is a team would want to negotiate out that option year or do something to protect them in the event of injury. Aldon Smith did something similar with San Francisco when he eliminated his fully guaranteed salary for an incentive laden contract to protect the team from his off the field issues. That paid off for the 49ers who cut Smith after another off the field incident. If RGIII desperately wanted out of Washington he should consider making that same move. But without it I cant picture a team taking on a $16 million risk for player who hasn't been good since his rookie year in 2012.
This is going to get really messy, and the reports are going to become more frequent leading up to Week 1, or until the Redskins make an announcement one way or the other. If Dan Snyder is the only thing holding the Redskins back from getting rid of Griffin, he could be on the roster and deactivated all year. The Redskins are responsible for his $6.7 million cap hit either way, only getting cap relief through a trade. A trade seems unlikely at this point, but it could happen with minimal/conditional compensation. If Robert Griffin III is healthy and loses his job to Kirk Cousins, the calls to get rid of Griffin will only increase. The only positive that can come out of this mess would be Cousins performing at a high level, and taking control of the QB position for the future. But that is far from a certainty and the Redskins team still has a lot of work to do to become a
functional competitive team.
Rift between ownership/coaching staff over RGIII is nothing new. Well documented. Still hard to believe the meteoric rise and drastic plunge— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) August 30, 2015
UPDATE: Source fight!
As one source explained it to PFT, everyone in Washington is on the same page regarding the roles and responsibilities. G.M. Scot McCloughan is in charge of the roster, which soon will be at 53, and coach Jay Gruden decides who will play.
Reports of a two-hour meeting between Snyder and McCloughan may have pushed the needle in the direction of a disagreement between McCloughan/Gruden and Snyder, but a source with knowledge of the situation told PFT that the meeting was focused on sorting out exactly what happened with Griffin being cleared to play after suffering a concussion and then not being cleared to play. That discrepancy fueled the latest spike in perceived dysfunction, but it's not yet gotten to the point where the guy whose primary job is to sign the checks is getting in the way of the people whose primary jobs are to run the football team.