The Washington Redskins have ended quarterback Robert Griffin III’s tenure with the team, releasing him two days before the start of the 2016 NFL year.
The long-anticipated move clears $16.155 million off of the Redskins’ salary cap, freeing up much-needed money for the team to make upgrades to the roster in free agency, and gives Griffin a chance to revive his once promising career. Griffin now has the freedom to sign with any team that wants him.
Thus ends one of the most dramatic rises and falls in recent NFL history. After taking the league by storm with a record-setting rookie campaign that led Washington to the NFC East title and first round of the playoffs, Griffin tore ligaments in his right knee in a playoff loss to Seattle and never managed to recapture the magic.
He struggled to transition from zone-read, dual-threat quarterback to a traditional pocket passer while playing under two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Mike Shanahan and then well-respected quarterback guru Jay Gruden.
Griffin entered the 2015 season as the starter, but after an uneven preseason performance and incurring a concussion in the second exhibition game, the Redskins made an abrupt change, benching Griffin for fellow 2012 draft class member Kirk Cousins.
Griffin dressed for only one game; as third-string quarterback for the entire season, he never took a snap.
Despite committing to Cousins for the 2016 season, and public statements by both Coach Jay Gruden and team president Bruce Allen that Griffin’s time in Washington was over, the Redskins waited until Monday to release Griffin.