The Washington Redskins shut down quarterback Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season Wednesday, naming backup Kirk Cousins as their new starter and adding a new element to Coach Mike Shanahan’s showdown with team owner Daniel Snyder over the direction of the franchise. Griffin, last season’s NFL offensive rookie of the year, expressed disappointment with Shanahan’s decision and said he “expressed my desire to play” in a meeting with the coach. “At this point, I have to leave it up to Coach, which it always is,” Griffin told reporters after a midday practice at Redskins Park at which Cousins and backup Rex Grossman worked out with the starting offense. Shanahan said he had discussed his decision with Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen. He reiterated he was sitting his star quarterback down to avoid the possibility of him getting hurt following a run of five games in which he has been sacked repeatedly. “The one thing I thought was most important to this organization — and that’s one of the reasons why I talked about it with Dan because I thought it was very important to include him — that, ‘Hey, this is your guy of the future. What do you want to do? What’s important for us making the right decision?’ ’’ Shanahan said. “And it’s easy to say after somebody gets hurt, ‘We should have took him out.’ And I didn’t want to put our organization in that type of situation.” Shanahan said the discussions began last week and he would not have decided to sideline Griffin had Snyder or Allen objected. “Well, just put it this way: I said if either one wasn’t 100 percent behind my reasoning that I’m giving you, I said we won’t go there,” Shanahan said. “Nothing needs to be said. We’ll just keep it status quo.” Shanahan and Snyder’s differences have largely centered over Shanahan’s unhappiness with Snyder’s friendly relationship with Griffin. The decision to bench Griffin has been interpreted as a deliberate effort by Shanahan to provoke Snyder into firing him, a move that would mean Snyder would still have to pay Shanahan more than $7 million remaining on the five-year contract signed in 2010. Shanahan would not have to be paid if he quit. In his remarks to reporters Wednesday, Shanahan denied he is attempting to force the issue. He said he would like to remain with the team next season but acknowledged it’s possible that won’t happen once he and Snyder sit down after the season. Snyder was attending an NFL owners’ meeting in Dallas and was not available to comment. He declined to comment to reporters there, according to the NFL Network. Multiple people close to the situation have said they expect the team and Shanahan to part ways by the end of the season, if not sooner.
Robert Griffin III shut down for rest of season
Washington Post | Dec 12