Timing not Right for Philadelphia Eagles, Robert Griffin III


Saturday night, while Sam Bradford was busy filling Philadelphia Eagles’ fans heads with Superbowl dreams, Robert Griffin III was standing on the sidelines watching Kirk Cousins perform rather admirably in the team’s third pre-season game.

Griffin worked hard in the warm-up, not looking as though he was concussed or suffering any repercussions from a big hit that he took in week two of the pre-season.

It was, under the lights of M&T Bank Stadium, that it became clearer than ever that that marriage between the Washington Redskins and their once star-destined quarterback had failed. Whether it was the perceived toxicity of Daniel Synder’s organization, Griffin’s lack of maturity, or a combination of the two, if it hadn’t already been clear that it was time for the two sides to part ways, it became crystal clear Saturday night.

And Sunday, courtesy of ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini and Adam Schefter, the smoking gun surfaced.

"High-ranking Washington Redskins front-office officials and coaches want to part ways with quarterback Robert Griffin III, but are meeting resistance from team ownership, according to team and league sources.The Redskins even have had trade conversations about Griffin with a handful of NFL teams, but have found no interest, and it remains unclear whether ownership would allow Washington to trade him, sources said.It is becoming increasingly apparent that Griffin has lost his starting quarterback job, and depending on the events and conversations in the coming days, possibly his roster spot."

She followed that up Monday with this.

Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden followed that up later Monday by saying that Cousins would not only start in week one, but for all of 2015.

Beyond just the distraction it could cause, the Redskins seem like they may be best served parting ways with Griffin, being that if he gets hurt at any point this season (even if it came in a practice setting) his fifth-year option for $16.155 million would become guaranteed.

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Griffin’s fall from grace, mixed with the previously mentioned option, will likely make him untradeable. It’s unclear if owner Daniel Synder is ready to outright release Griffin, but it seems that would be the best move for both sides.

It may, however, not be the best move for the Philadelphia Eagles.

First of all, if Griffin’s presence on the roster in 2015 serves as a distraction for the team’s divisional rival, that works in the Eagles’ favor. This is still a divisional rival that the Eagles play twice this season, one of which is in a Saturday night Week 16 showdown that could help sway that Eagles’ playoff hopes.

Secondly, if things don’t work out for the Eagles with Sam Bradford, they are sent back to the drawing board in terms of finding a quarterback to lead Chip Kelly’s offense. Griffin might not seem like a sexy option right now, but barring the 49ers giving up on Colin Kaepernick or the Eagles bottoming out, Griffin may be that best option.

If he’s released now, he’s probably not going to be too interested in joining Chip Kelly’s team as a third-string quarterback. If Bradford fails in 2015 and the team still believes Mark Sanchez is a very good backup that isn’t worth starting, then you could at least sell him on having a chance to work with a great offensive mind, compete for a starting job and potentially edge out the team that he probably feels like villainized him.

If Griffin is released within the next 10 days, selling him on that isn’t really an option. Teams like the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets would be able to offer him more of an immediate chance to compete. That isn’t to say he wouldn’t be best served taking a step back and joining a more stable organization, but no one could fault the 25 year-old for wanting to get back into action as soon as possible after having his name drug through the mud.

Even from Griffin’s perspective, he may be better in the long-run sticking things out in Washington this year, having them decline his option for 2016 and looking for a fresh start this off-season. Though some teams will have to rebuild their offense to accommodate his unique skill-set, teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals could hypothetically consider someone like Griffin to push or replace their starter this off-season, but they are extremely unlikely to do so at this time. The same goes for the Eagles, who he would be an even more obvious fit for.

As strange as it seems, both the Philadelphia Eagles and Griffin himself may be best served with the Redskins holding onto the former number two overall pick for this season.

Next: Morning Phil-Up: Chip Kelly Building Powerful Offense