By Sam Cowan
Two weeks after stating that he’s the best quarterback in the league, Robert Griffin III now faces trade rumors and the possibility of getting relegated to a backup role.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that coaches and front-office officials for the Washington Redskins were looking to trade the former No. 2 overall pick.
If a trade happens, it would cap off a tumultuous tenure for Griffin in Washington.
The Redskins traded three first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Rams in order to move into position to select Griffin in the 2012 NFL Draft.
At the time, Griffin was viewed as a potential franchise quarterback with his mobility and arm. For the first year of his career, it appeared as if Griffin would live up to the hype.
The Redskins went from last place in the NFC East in 2011 to a division title in 2012 with Griffin winning Rookie of the Year while recording a Total QBR of 75.6 in the regular season. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were the only eligible quarterbacks to record a higher QBR in 2012.
Griffin tore his ACL in the ensuing playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks and would never be the same player afterwards.
In 2013, Griffin’s Total QBR fell to 42.2 which ranked 24th among qualified players. The Redskins went a conference-worst 3-13 in 2013.
The drop in Total QBR would continue for Griffin in 2014 as he reached a new career-low of 33.5 while playing in just nine games due to a leg injury.
Despite ranking among the bottom-half of the league in Total QBR for the last two seasons, Griffin still seems confident in his ability as a quarterback.
“I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that,” said Griffin in an interview with WJLA.
However, Griffin’s competition for the quarterback position in Washington, Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins, both recorded higher Total QBRs than him in 2014, leading to the recent trade rumors.
While Griffin has often been at odds with his coaches, the ownership of the Redskins has stayed consistent in their support of him.
Former coach Mike Shanahan and owner Dan Snyder had a well-publicized feud in 2013 over Griffin’s role on the team. Shanahan would leave the team at the end of 2013.
If the Redskins are serious about trading Griffin, his contract could prove a major obstacle in that process.
Griffin is signed through the end of 2016 and is owed $22.8 million over the next two seasons. Of that money, $16 million is due for the 2016 season alone.
Considering the amount the Redskins gave up to draft Griffin back in 2012, it would seem like they would want a lot in return for a player who was a star during his rookie year.
However, it seems unlikely that Griffin will net very much in a trade given his performance over the last two seasons and the massive amount of guaranteed money he will be owed.
Wherever he is at the start of the season, Griffin faces the possibility of being outside the top spot in the depth chart for the first time in his career.
Update: Kirk Cousins has been named as the Redskins starter for Week 1.