(Credit: Kevin Jairaj/USA Today)
The mental and physical pounding absorbed by Robert Griffin III has taken it’s toll in only five seasons.
The cavalcade of calamity in the brief professional career of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III has been five seasons in the making. The 2011 Heisman Trophy award winner was paired with Mike Shanahan, a former two-time Super Bowl winning head coach with the Denver Broncos — led by Hall of Famer John Elway. In Griffin, Shanahan had a player with similar arm strength and superior improvisational skills. Despite an eye-popping rookie campaign, the tension between coach and quarterback was undeniable. From the controversy surrounding Griffin’s extensive knee injury in the 2012 NFC Wild Card game to the quarterback’s relationship with team owner Daniel Snyder.
Shanahan stooped to a new level of pettiness when he benched Griffin for the last three weeks of the 2013 season after learning he would be fired. The benching of Griffin was an unofficial audition for backup Kirk Cousins, who was drafted three rounds after him. Under current head coach Jay Gruden, the verbal jousting has intensified as did Griffin’s injuries.
Ironically, Griffin’s season and immediate future in the NFL has been put on ice as the team is handcuffed with a $16 million insurance payout if he is injured.