Mike Shanahan just added a nice slathering of fuck you to the Washington Redskins’ shit sandwich of a football season by benching starting quarterback Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the year. Griffin will be inactive Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons with Kirk Cousins getting the start, and Rex Grossman serving as his back up.
The move, and the turmoil that preceded it, has resulted in the Skins receiving more press than any 3-10 team in recent history. This move is just the smoking debris of a powder keg that exploded a few hours before the Skins ended up on the wrong end of a 45-10 drubbing against the Kansas Chiefs this past Sunday.
On Sunday, a story leaked to the media stating that Shanahan cleaned out his office and considering quitting toward the end of last season due to his perception that RGIII received preferential treatment from team owner Dan Snyder. The story alleged that Griffin would have Snyder’s personal security detail with him during nights out on the town, and that Snyder’s own limo would pick up Griffin’s wife and take her to games.
The story, of course, added credence to the opinion held by some around the league and in the general public, that RGIII is an arrogant and petulant star who needs to always get his way.
In his post-game press conference, Shanahan refused to answer any questions about the article, but he fanned the flames even more by refusing to confirm that RGIII would be the starter in the team’s upcoming game. Since Sunday, there has been much speculation on whether the story was leaked by Shanahan himself to force Snyder to fire him—and pay the remaining $7 million on his contract. Now, even that is being overshadowed by the most recent news of RGIII’s recent addition to the inactive list.
Shanahan claims that the move is to preserve his quarterback’s health for the future in a lost season, but it seems odd that that same logic wasn’t applied in week one, when Griffin, to many observers, did not seem like the dynamic passer and runner he was in the previous year. The move seems like another play to force Daniel Snyder’s hand, and provide an escape from what looks to be a, once again, sinking ship. This is an especially disappointing season for the Washington hopeful, given the excitement at the end of last season with the miraculous win streak, culminating in a NFC East championship.
Now it seems the team is left with most disappointment than hope, and more questions than answers. Will Shanahan remain with the team through this season? If he doesn’t, who will be the replacement? Will RGIII return to form next year?
Somewhere Albert Haynesworth has just taken a relaxing swim in his money bin and had a good laugh while murmuring “I told you so.”