The Washington Redskins are releasing quarterback Robert Griffin III, according to multiple media reports. This news hardly comes as a surprise. Grifffin was scheduled to make $16.1 million in 2016 if Washington didn't cut him. D.C. is obviously moving forward with Kirk Cousins, whom they franchise tagged last week, as their franchise quarterback.
The release of Griffin marks the end of his strange era in Washington. It all started when Washington made that huge pre-draft trade to move up at No. 2 overall and get him. Griffin absolutely lit up the NFL as a rookie and led the team to the playoffs before suffering a nasty injury thanks to the poor surface at FedEx Field. Griffin was never the same dynamic player he was after his rookie season and he's fallen out of favor in Washington ever since. He spent the entire 2015 season as the third string quarterback because the team didn't want to risk him getting hurt and having his injury only guaranteed salary for 2016 kick in.
Now that Griffin is on the market, should the Eagles have interest? Dating back to last season, there have been multiple reports connecting Griffin to Philadelphia as a potential landing spot. Most of them popped up when Chip Kelly was still the head coach, but there was a new one as recently as a few weeks ago.
The Eagles obviously wouldn't be bringing in Griffin as a starter. Philadelphia is committed to Sam Bradford for the 2016 season. But taking a flyer on Griffin as a backup option would be interesting. The Eagles can save $3.5 million by releasing the 29-year-old Mark Sanchez, who is what he is at this point of his career. In theory, at least, the 26-year-old Griffin offers more upside.
It was a long time ago now but I think it's easy to forget how special Griffin was as a rookie. He completed 65.6% of his passes for 3,200 yards (8.6 yards/attempt) for 20 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 102.4 rating. He also ran for 815 yards and seven scores. It wasn't hard to see he was a special athlete. The problem is that injuries may have diminished his ability. He also looks broken from a confidence standpoint. He's in major need of landing in a stable organization with a great coaching staff.
I don't think Griffin to the Eagles is likely to happen. I do think it's the kind of move the team should be interested in, however. Bradford is far from a sure thing as a long-term answer. Sanchez is definitely not the long-term answer. Griffin probably isn't an answer, but who knows? Why not take a chance on him? The Eagles can't afford to put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to the quarterback situation. Taking a flyer on Griffin and trying to coach him up would show that they're trying every avenue to finding "the answer" at quarterback. That way the Eagles would have Bradford as the 2016 starter, Griffin as a backup and in the mix to compete for a starting job in the future, and a rookie from the 2016 NFL Draft class in the picture as well. Optionality.
It'll be interesting to see how the market plays out for Griffin. Is there any team(s) out there willing to bring him in as a starter? Will he settle for being a backup in order to hone his craft and repair his game? There have been reports connecting RG3 to Dallas. Will he be staying in the division? And potentially as Tony Romo's heir? Oh, the intrigue!