Washington Redskins News & Rumors: Did NFL Team Make Mistake By Using Option on Robert Griffin III?
The Washington Redskins are making headlines yet again by spending big money.
According to multiple reports, the Redskins have decided to use their team option on quarterback Robert Griffin III. That option is for 2016, Griffin's fifth year. Next season, Griffin is set to make $3.26 million. The fifth year team option is scheduled to pay Griffin $16.1 million, all of which will count against the Redskins salary cap.
So, did the Redskins make a mistake or was this a good business decision?
Well, it is important to note that none of this money is guaranteed yet. The Redskins can still release Griffin before the start of next season and pay none of the said $16 million. The Redskins had until Sunday, May 3, to make a decision on whether or not to use their team option on Griffin. Fans of this decision will bring up the fact that Griffin won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010 while throwing 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Griffin led the Redskins to a playoff appearance that season as well. Griffin doesn't turn the ball over very much, and now the Redskins have a security blanket to keep Griffin for another season.
But, on the other side, there are fans who feel the Redskins (once again) made a financial mistake. Griffin has played below average the last two seasons highlighted with drama, losses, poor throws and injuries. Each of the last two Redskins head coaches, Jay Gruden and Mike Shanahan, have benched Griffin for numerous reasons. Griffin is 5-15 as a starter for the Redskins over the last two seasons.
For some statistical and financial perspective, Griffin threw four touchdown passes in his nine games played last season. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes in the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. In 2016 Griffin is scheduled to make $16 million while Brady is scheduled to make $9 million.
Daniel Snyder is one of the most unpopular owners in all of sports today. This Redskins franchise has taken a nosedive since he became the owner in 1999, not making it to the third round of the playoffs a single time. Snyder has thrown money out the window offseason after offseason (remember Albert Haynesworth?) hoping to build a dynasty overnight. Much of the Redskins fan base has grown tired of Snyder's wasteful spending ways. It really is fitting that the Redskins play near Washington, D.C.
It looks like Snyder saw the May 3 deadline approaching, and he panicked. Griffin was under contract for next season anyway, and the Indianapolis Colts recently used their team option on Andrew Luck. Snyder doesn't want to lose the great NFL Draft competition of 2012, so he gave in. The Redskins can still release Griffin before 2016, but that's pretty unlikely given Snyder's relationships with Griffin.
One possibility for the Redskins, and the easiest, would to have simply let the May 3 deadline option expire and let Griffin play his final year out. If Griffin gets injured again or plays poor again, just let him walk as a free agent. Now, the Redskins are married to Griffin if he plays great next season with the $16 million option. If the Redskins had not optioned Griffin, and Griffin played great next season, they could have just signed for less per season.
The Redskins currently have the sixth lowest cap space available in the league, and a $16 million cap hit in 2016 would certainly prevent helping other team needs. There's no doubt about it, Griffin will be under a lot of pressure next season.
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