Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s preseason seems to be getting worse by the day. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported this morning that the Redskins have named Kirk Cousins the starting quarterback for Week 1.
Redskins have named Kirk Cousins starting QB for week 1 per source.
— Dianna Marie Russini (@diannaESPN) August 31, 2015
The news that Cousins will start follows a story in ESPN this weekend that reported “high ranking” team coaches and executives in Washington are ready to part ways with Griffin but are being met with resistance from the team’s ownership.
Sources told Adam Schefter that the Redskins have been in trade talks about Griffin with a “handful” of NFL teams, but haven’t found any legitimate interest. Writes Schefter:
Even if ownership prevails and convinces the Redskins’ front office to keep Griffin, he is not expected to hold on to his starting quarterback job. The Redskins are determined to start a different quarterback on opening day against the Miami Dolphins, and Griffin’s time as the starter now appears over. The more significant question is whether his time in Washington is as well.
Schefter went further and told ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” that “it wouldn’t be surprising” if the Redskins decide to just release Griffin before the regular season starts and “move on from him.”
The Redskins picked up Griffin’s contract extension back in April, leading many to believe Washington was committed to a future with Griffin at the helm. But as Schefter explains, this extension — which is guaranteed — may actually be one of the leading factors in why the front office is so keen to cut ties. From ESPN:
If Washington plays Griffin this season — and the NFL still has not cleared him to return to action from a recent concussion — and he gets injured again, the Redskins cannot cut him until he’s cleared to play again. In addition, should Griffin suffer an injury that extends into the 2016 season, his $US16.1 million salary for next season is guaranteed. That could also scare off some teams interested in trading for Griffin.
Griffin suffered a concussion in a preseason game against the Lions in which he was inexplicably kept in despite the offensive line’s inability to protect him.
Leading up to the team’s third preseason game, the Redskins announced that Griffin had been cleared to play against the Ravens. This announcement was quickly followed up by a separate report that explained the NFL’s independent neurologist had not cleared Griffin and that Griffin was not in fact ready to suit up for the game.
Gruden quickly spoke out regarding the concussion controversy, saying that the team handled Griffin’s head injury “by the book.”
Whether or not any of this is true is besides the point now with Cousins being named the starter. Griffin’s days in Washington are numbered, and it’s more than likely that the ugly preseason game against the Lions will have — fittingly — been his last in a Redskins uniform.
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