In a not too surprising move, the Washington Redskins (or to be more accurate, their coach), have decided that Robert Griffin III isn’t going to play anymore this season, and instead Kirk Cousins will start in the remaining three games, while Rex Grossman will act as his backup, and maybe even get a chance to start before this season is over.
Mike Shanahan pretty much clued every one in on this insight after the Redskins lost another game, falling to 3-10. He mentioned that it’s important Griffin finally has an offseason that he’s healthy in, and going by the fact that he’s been sacked 24 times over the last five games and the Redskins have nothing left to achieve this season, avoiding any chance of him getting injured makes sense.
According to Shanahan, this was all about securing the future of Griffin and the franchise, mentioning that having two offseasons missed due to injury problems might turn into a major setback for the young quarterback, the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Griffin might not like it, and this might be another chapter in the ongoing battle between owner Dan Snyder and the head coach with Griffin in the middle, but it’s not that surprising considering the season Washington have had, which includes Griffin not being the same player he was last season.
Conspiracy theories are abundant at this point. Less conspiracy, but trying to look behind Shanahan’s words. Griffin isn’t happy with being benched. He wants to play, and the owner, who is quite friendly with Griffin, is unhappy about this change as well. The last few weeks and maybe longer has been a battle of perceptions and versions about who is really to blame for the poor record this season and overall in the Shanahan era.
Mike Shanahan isn’t saying anything directly, but no one will be surprised if the news about him wanting to quit the team because of Snyder’s relationship with Griffin came from the Shanahan family, including his son Kyle, the offensive coordinator everyone seems to love bashing for his calls this season. Snyder himself would like to get rid of Shanahan at the end of this season, but still owes him $7 million for another year in charge. Shanahan might be trying to get himself fired and pick up that money, so it’s not all that certain that his motives to bench Griffin are about the welfare of the quarterback and the team, which Shanahan won’t be a part of for much longer.