The Redskins may have to cut Robert Griffin III or risk losing $16 million

Washington Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden confirmed earlier reports that Kirk Cousins will be the team’s starting quarterback for the regular season in a press conference this afternoon.

As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted, Gruden specifically used the language that Cousins will be the starter “for 2015” — indicating that whenever Griffin is cleared from his concussion, he will still only become the back-up to Cousins.

“Kirk’s proven to be the best quarterback on the team,” Gruden said. 

He added that he has made no decisions about whether Griffin or Colt McCoy will be named the second string quarterback — seemingly rubbing salt on the wound that’s been Griffin’s preseason.

According to NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington, Griffin’s camp will be shocked by Gruden’s announcement.

Griffin and his team reportedly understood earlier reports that Cousins’ would be the starter only because Griffin was sidelined with the concussion and the lengthy protocol he’s been subjected to. This news is a nightmare for Griffin, who has in three short years gone from the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year to possibly riding the bench behind both Cousins and McCoy.

The best move for everyone at the moment seems to be for the Redskins to cut Griffin before the start of the season. Although it sounds crazy, anything else will just lead to misery for both Griffin and Washington’s front office. As Adam Schefter reported over the weekend, Griffin is owed $US16 million next season, and that money is guaranteed if Griffin gets injured. As Schefter noted, because of how injury-prone Griffin has proved to be in his short career in the NFL, teams that might otherwise be interested in trading for Griffin are staying away because they don’t want to take on $US16 million in guaranteed money if he is quickly re-injured.

It’s one thing to risk an injury guarantee on a player you think can help you win games. It is something else to risk having to play a backup $US16 million if he gets hurt in practice.

The only other option, then, is for Washington to cut ties with Griffin and let Griffin sign a new deal somewhere else for less guaranteed money. If the Redskins don’t want him — as they have made abundantly clear over the past few weeks — they will certainly not want to pay him $US16 million to sit on the bench, or to be injured. 

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