RG3 once had the power to make a billion dollar company stand on its head while touching its toes. His perceived value to the overall health of the NFL was so high that he could get a sports reporter and future Hall of Fame journalist with 30 years in the game covering way bigger stars than RG3, fired without lifting a finger or saying a word.
The mere suggestion of an insult against Chocolate City’s savior would spell doom for anyone with a mouth, bold enough to speak the truth about him.
I’m not here to bash RG3 or reminisce about his magical 2012 season, which seems like another lifetime now. I’m really just watching this entire debacle and beginning to feel a tad sorry for the kid.
He was once the guy credited with revolutionizing the QB position in one season, but just as quickly he became an example of how fleeting an NFL career and public favor is.
NFL teams were scrambling to find players with an RG3 skill set just a few short seasons ago and The League is still feeling his impact as spread option QBs of humble physical stature are more on the radar than ever before. At the same time, his laundry list of injuries and inability to stay on the field long enough to fulfill his vast potential also strengthened the physically durable, pocket passing quarterback’s stature in this bloodthirsty, hard-hitting, NFL.
RG3 has two of those guys in Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy breathing down his neck. At the same time, his HC doesn’t want him anymore. Jay Gruden's already named Cousins the starter for 2015. Griffin's Skins teammates are more than good with a change at signal caller and most significantly the fans are tired of being teased and tired of waiting for the old RG3 to resurface.
The trade rumors which really picked up at the end of last season are now factual gossip as Robert Griffin III is reportedly remaining in Washington only because owner Dan Snyder can’t let go of the past and accept a compromised future, so he’s overruling the football people who want to kick RG3 to the curb. Some have even suggested he just be cut.
According to ESPN, front office officials and coaches want to move on from Griffin but are meeting resistance from ownership. If Synder really valued RG3 that much, he’d try his hardest to get him another situation and put the fallen soldier out of his Redskins misery. It’s truly becoming your greatest dream turned nightmare.
The team has talked about trading Griffin, but there’s been no interest. That’s no surprise: Griffin has a guaranteed salary of $3.3 million this year and would be owed a whopping $16.2 million next year if he suffered a severe injury. There’s no way for any team to justify committing that kind of money to a player who has played as poorly as Griffin over the last two years.
From all indications, Coach Jay Gruden — who spent most of the offseason insisting that Griffin would be the starter — has lost any confidence he ever had in Griffin as a quarterback. General Manager Scot McCloughan, who was hired this year, has no particular loyalty to Griffin either.
But Snyder has loved Griffin since…the 2012 draft, and Snyder apparently isn’t willing to let go. And that’s the only thing keeping Griffin in Washington.
These reports come on the heels of an extremely confusing situation regarding Griffin's playing status following a concussion last week.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden admitted there was uncertainty over Griffin's lingering concussion symptoms but said the team did everything "by the book."
Griffin was sidelined for the Redskins' 31-13 preseason win over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night after an independent neurologist reversed his decision and said RG3 was not cleared to play.
Griffin now must be re-evaluated later in the week.
"We're all as confused as you are," Gruden said after the game. "People have to understand this has nothing to do with the Washington Redskins. I know people want to make it out that we're incompetent, but this had nothing to do with us. It was totally an independent doctor. A verbal (report) being said to our doctor, and then, all of a sudden, the written report is different. We followed proper course and did what we thought was right for Robert and what the report said. We followed everything by the book. ... This was all put on us at the last minute."
Every time Griffin gets hurt or is in a weird situation there is a contingent of loyalists that automatically blame the coaching staff, so the fact that an independent doctor overruled the team neurologist is another blow to the integrity of the Redskins as an organization that protects their valued No.1 pick. People tend to share some blame for Griffin’s precipitous fall with the organization’s handling of him in games.
Gruden is very sensitive to this and as a second-year HC coming off a 4-12 season; he wanted to deny any mishandling of the situation or careless medical evaluations on their part.
Gruden’s statement sounds like more shots being fired at RG3 and a further distancing of the new regime from supporting RG3 as the guy to lead the Skins moving forward. It’s just more controversy and uncertainty concerning a QB that was thought to be an automatic jackpot and the font of all positive football vibes.
Snyder and Co. looked like geniuses when they traded up to nab Griffin fresh off a Heisman out of Baylor. Now, Synder is the laughing stock of NFL owners and squads are treating Griffin like the grenade in Synder’s hands that he has to hold onto because nobody else wants to take the handoff as it implodes. Everyone is real sour on this dude because he didn’t become the greatest QB ever.
That’s really what this is about right? The 180 degree flip in popularity is really because everyone feels like RG3 has let them down. He was God on the gridiron and fans buckled in for a decade of dominance that never came. And DC folk had a swag level of 1,000 when he was on top – sort of like NY did when France blessed us with that architectural beauty known as The Statue of Liberty to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy in the United States
The Shadow League warned against America’s overindulgence in RG3. Injuries are the one reminder that you shouldn’t get too emotionally involved with one player. Building heroes is a crap shoot in the NFL and you shouldn’t bestow upon or allocate too much non-football responsibilities to any one player because their careers are about as stable as the levees in Louisiana 10 years ago. Potential heroes come and go like cars paying tolls on the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.
Now that RG3 hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain, he is being treated like the plague. Quarterbacks have gotten hurt in the past. This is nothing new. It’s the most perilous position on the football field and when you play it with the reckless grace of an RG3, injury is just a big hit or knee twist away.
Now, the Washington Redskins community is in a Civil War about what to do with him. It’s obvious that despite his enthusiasm to return, the coaching staff is ready to commit to another pigskin slinger and end the RG3 experience, which has become more personal headache than heartache for opposing defenses.
Griffin did go through a workout in warm-ups Saturday night, taking snaps and throwing passes for at least an hour and participated in all four non-contact practices and the walkthrough leading into Saturday's game.
On Friday, just hours before an independent neurologist announced Griffin was not cleared from a concussion, Gruden told the media that the quarterback received final medical clearance from multiple doctors to play Saturday night.
In any event, it looks like somebody doesn’t want RG3 on the field just yet, but if he is going to have an ally in this battle, the owner of the team is about as good as it gets.
Snyder’s the only guy repping for RG3 right now, but if the QB can stay healthy, don’t tell me he can’t go to another team and help them win. There’s been a recent rush of criticism against a guy who has only played in 23 games the past two seasons, but has proved that he can win when healthy. His game is constantly criticized by media pundits and fans who can’t accept the fact that he’s not as great as we saw in his rookie season but not nearly as bad the rap they are now giving him.
His career is not over.
He can still pull a Jim Plunkett and find the perfect team and capture a few magical season where he turns back the clock just enough to win a couple Super Bowl rings.
Or he can pull a Doug Williams and turn tragedy into one triumphant moment, which will favorably define him forever. Actually, turning back the clock isn’t necessary or even possible. RG3 may be in the twilight of his tumultuous career as a Washington Redskin, but he can still make all of his doubters pay in the end.
Unless his locker room rep has deteriorated to the point that he’s considered a cancer in the clubhouse, a team will eventually get their hands on him, supply him with a proper offensive line that can protect a player that goes hard like he does. No need to pile on and say his career is dead and he’s the worse QB since Jamarcus Russell sipped the sizzurp on his NFL career.
Most cats talking junk on “The Third Rail” used to have his face plastered on their boxers. They rocked the RG3 No. 10 jersey as faithfully as they did a pair of retro Jordans in a pickup game.
I’m willing to see how this plays out. The kid has got talent. He’s been through a Derrick Rose type of situation in his career mentally and physically. He needs to regroup again, push for a trade (might have to take less bread) and continue to mature as a baller. He may not be the same player he was three seasons ago, but he’s better than some of these journeyman running teams like the Jets Ryan Fitzpatrick.
His biggest downfall is that he’s injury prone, but he doesn’t suck and eventually he will prove that, if only for one shining season. In the words of KRS-One: “We’re not done ... we’re not done”.
So cut RG3 some slack. He’ll be back.