The Redskins have benched Robert Griffin III, and it looks as if he's done in Washington

rg3 jay gruden
rg3 jay gruden

(Nick Wass/AP)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's preseason seems to be getting worse by the day. ESPN's Dianna Russini reported on Monday morning that the Redskins had named Kirk Cousins the starting quarterback for week one.

The news that Cousins will start follows a story in ESPN this weekend that reported "high ranking" team coaches and executives in Washington were ready to part ways with Griffin but were being met with resistance from the team's ownership.

Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Redskins had been in trade talks about Griffin with a "handful" of NFL teams but hadn't found any legitimate interest. Writes Schefter:

Even if ownership prevails and convinces the Redskins' front office to keep Griffin, he is not expected to hold on to his starting quarterback job. The Redskins are determined to start a different quarterback on opening day against the Miami Dolphins, and Griffin's time as the starter now appears over. The more significant question is whether his time in Washington is as well.

Schefter went further and told ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" that "it wouldn't be surprising" if the Redskins decided to just release Griffin before the regular season and "move on from him."

The Redskins picked up Griffin's contract extension back in April, leading many to believe Washington was committed to a future with Griffin at the helm. But as Schefter said, this extension — which is guaranteed — may actually be one of the leading reasons the front office would be so keen to cut ties. From ESPN:

If Washington plays Griffin this season -- and the NFL still has not cleared him to return to action from a recent concussion -- and he gets injured again, the Redskins cannot cut him until he's cleared to play again. In addition, should Griffin suffer an injury that extends into the 2016 season, his $16.1 million salary for next season is guaranteed. That could also scare off some teams interested in trading for Griffin.

Griffin suffered a concussion in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions in which he was inexplicably kept in despite the offensive line's inability to protect him.

Leading up to the team's third preseason game, the Redskins announced that Griffin had been cleared to play against the Baltimore Ravens. This announcement was quickly followed up by a separate report that said the NFL's independent neurologist had not cleared Griffin and Griffin was not in fact ready to suit up for the game.

Gruden quickly spoke out regarding the concussion controversy, saying the team handled Griffin's head injury "by the book."

Whether or not any of this is true is beside the point now with Cousins being named the starter. Griffin's days in Washington are numbered, and it's more than likely that the ugly preseason game against the Lions will have — fittingly — been his last in a Redskins uniform.

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