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Is Robert Griffin III A Viable Option For The 2015 Jets

With the news the Redskins will start Colt McCoy against the Indianapolis Colts, many fans are asking whether RG III is done in Washington for good.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today I wrote an article regarding options the Jets had to fill their QB vacancy for 2015. I left Robert Griffin III off that list for several reasons:

  • I didn't want to include any trade scenarios, as the options there are limitless.
  • The cap hit to keep RG III is the same as the cap hit to cut him.
  • His value is at an all-time low and Washington will not want to give him up for a 5th-7th round selection
I started thinking about it a little more and decided to pen this article anyway. The interest in RG III is intense, I tested the water by sending out a tweet regarding the possibility of the Jets acquiring him to play quarterback for them next season, within seconds I had several people confirming they'd love to see it.

First of all we need to discuss if him leaving Washington is a possibility. Head Coach for the Redskins Jay Gruden confirmed today that he was moving forward with Colt McCoy because he gave them the best chance to win. It's really hard to disagree with that due to the play we're seen from RG III over the course of the last two weeks.

Robert Griffin III started the season as the Redskins starting quarterback, only to suffer a dislocated ankle in the week two victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kirk Cousins came on in relief of RGIII and filled in for the missing quarterback for the next 5 weeks. Colt McCoy replaced Kirk Cousins at half time in week 7 and completed 11 of 12 passes as he put together a come from behind win against Tennessee.

McCoy would then orchestrate a surprise victory in Arlington completing 25/30 passes against the Cowboys, although he failed to throw a touchdown and did turn the ball over.  McCoy was then replaced by RG III in week 9 following his return from injury, unfortunately for Washington that would mark the start of a 3 game losing streak that has forced them to make the change today.

Jay Gruden persists the Redskins have not given up on RG III:

"A lot of these young guys have been forced into action. Andrew Luck's the exception. They've had some struggles. It's not going to be perfect all the time. You can't give up on him, we're not giving up to him."

However it's extremely hard to imagine him having a future in Washington. Much like it was time for the Jets and Sanchez to part ways, it may be better for everyone involved if the split was made permanent come February. The Redskins have until May 3rd to decide whether to pick up the option on his 5th year, logic would suggest that's not going to happen due to the price, which is estimated to be between $16-$18 million.

We must remember what Washington gave up to move for Robert Griffin III in the first place. During the 2012 draft the Redskins gave the St Louis Rams their #6 overall pick in 2012, their first round picks in 2013 and 2014 and their second round pick in 2012. They mortgaged their immediate future on the success of this quarterback. Now they will be lucky to get a 5th round pick for him.

Griffin took the league by storm in 2012 winning the NFL's offensive rookie of the year award, throwing for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns, 6 interceptions while also rushing for 815 yards and 7 touchdowns. The trade with St Louis looked to be one the Redskins wouldn't end up regretting. Unfortunately following that season it was revealed that Griffin was carrying injuries to his ACL and LCL ligaments.

During the 2013 NFL season Griffin looked to be suffering with those knee injuries, failing to live up to the expectations he had set in 2012. The talent surrounding him was a little worse, his completion percentage was down by over 5%, he was throwing less touchdowns, more interceptions, rushing for less yardage but losing more fumbles. Eventually he was was benched from week 13 through to week 16 with head coach Mike Shanahan claiming it was to prevent the risk of further injury.

With his benching this week, Griffin has been overlooked for the starting role in two straight seasons by two different coaching staffs. His confidence is completely shot and he is a shadow of his former self. He tries to be someone he's not, forcing more throws, second guessing his decisions and reluctantly taking off when needed. His footwork has become so poor, it seems nobody knows how to fix it. However he has had success in this league, and I can't stress that enough.

Some have said that he has some attitude problems, I couldn't disagree with this more. He wants to win and sometimes he will say some things that are misconstrued as criticism of team mates, but he holds himself to a higher standard than anyone and will point the finger at himself more so than at anyone else. He is a religious man and a family man, having married at a young age.

Will the benching do him good, his coach seems to think so:

Robert has done some good things at quarterback, but I just think he needs a little bit more time in this system with the verbiage and the plays to sit back, take a step back and learn, and when he gets back in there he'll be a lot more decisive, hopefully, and ready to roll.
It could be that he needs a new place to call home. Adam Schefter reported that although he was being benched, he was still in the long-term plans of the Redskins, that could be factually correct or it could be information planted by a team source to ensure teams understood Washington is willing to keep him if they can't get at least a fair trade.

After investing so much in selecting him, I can't for a second believe the Redskins will cut him when it will cost as much to keep him. They may entertain a trade for him, but I think it would need to be for a 3rd or 4th round pick. Even then that might not get it done. However he's as good as anything the Jets currently have and in fact he's probably a lot better. He still has that mobility and his rocket arm will come in handy when the winds start swirling in New Jersey on cold December Sundays. I think the conversation at least has to be had.

We all need to remember that he is just two years removed from doing this: