Things have turned sour for Robert Griffin III at a fast pace and every time it seems like it can’t get any worse, it does.
After losing his job as the Redskins’ starting quarterback in the preseason and then opening the regular season as the third-string quarterback, Jeff Darlington of NFL.com reports that RG3 is so far down the Redskins’ depth chart that he was being used as a safety on their scout team last week.
Scout teams are tasked with running the formations and plays of the upcoming opponent to help prepare the starters for what they might see in the game.
It is not unusual for a third-string quarterback to help out on the scout team. But it is unusual for a player with such a high profile as RG3 — Heisman Trophy winner, 2nd pick in the draft, former starter, $US3.3 million salary — to take on a role usually reserved for undrafted free agents barely clinging to their NFL jobs.
The move is also an enormous risk for the Redskins.
By using Griffin in a position he is not used to playing, the coaches are increasing the chance that he gets hurt. As long as RG3 stays healthy, the Redskins can release him at any time and not be obligated to pay his 2016 salary, the final year on his rookie contract. But if RG3 does get hurt before the start of the 2016 league calendar year, his $US16.2 million salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed.
That’s a lot of money for a third-string quarterback in a league where salary cap concerns are so strong that many teams only carry two quarterbacks.
The Redskins have talked to other teams about trading for Griffin, but the injury guarantee for 2016 is probably a huge hurdle most teams are unwilling to overcome. While there may be interest in Griffin — he is still a talented quarterback when he is healthy — those teams are better off waiting for Washington to release Griffin and then signing him to a much more team-friendly salary for the 2016 season.
Maybe Griffin is just being a team player and maybe the coaches are just treating RG3 the same way they would treat anybody in his position. But it is hard to not see this as just another embarrassment for a player who is clearly no longer wanted in Washington.
Maybe Robert Griffin III has finally hit rock bottom.
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