By MIKEY BARNES
A few years back, the D.C metropolitan area and Redskins fans around the world would not have seen the series of events that have taken place lately to occur. In 2012, when the Washington Redskins traded their next three first round picks and second round pick to move up from the sixth spot to second overall in the draft, the world stood by and watched to see what direction they would take.
Daniel Snyder and his staff went in the direction of the Heisman Trophy winner out of Baylor, quarterback Robert Griffin III. This created a lot of excitement for the D.C. area, as there was a new face in town.
In Griffin’s opening season as the Redskins starting quarterback, he led the team to a playoff berth while earning Rookie of the Year honors. Griffin threw for over 3,000 yards, threw 20 touchdowns and ran for seven more. It was at this point, it seemed as though every person had purchased a Robert Griffin jersey or t-shirt of some sort. Washington football had founds its “savior” and a long illustrious career of winning and exciting touchdowns were on their way. As the league picked up on the RG3 celebration, his stardom continued to skyrocket.
During his rookie season, Griffin missed just one game in his rookie season due to a minor injury, but played the following week. Then in the team’s opening playoff game, Griffin’s knee buckled and he was taken off the field and replaced by fellow rookie Kirk Cousins.
The following year, the league anticipated an MVP caliber season from Griffin and a Super Bowl bound Redskin team. The entire league was disappointed, as Griffin threw roughly the same amount of yards as his rookie campaign, with just 16 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and did not record a single rushing score. Along with the poor stats, the Redskins record was 3- 13 and not only were the fans upset, a great deal of turmoil was created within the locker room.
Speculation of issues between head coach Mike Shanahan and Griffin surfaced and were later revealed as true. At the end of his second season, the turmoil reached a peak and Shanahan went in the direction of benching Griffin for the remainder of the games, stating it was due to “health concerns.” Shanahan was later fired and Jay Gruden was ushered in as the new coach.
In his third year, the injury bug bit again as Griffin remained unable to stay healthy. He made appearances in just nine games, while throwing four touchdowns and six interceptions. It was at the end of the season it seemed the Griffin era was over. In the 2015 season, Griffin was active for just one game, as Kirk Cousins proved to be the new “quarterback of the future” for the Redskins with his record breaking season.
On March 7, 2016, the RG3 era in Washington officially ended as he was released to free agency. Two weeks later on March 21, Robert Griffin III was signed by the Cleveland Browns, to help fill the void that is the quarterback situation there.
Though many people may still have their Robert Griffin jersey, or have trashed it by now, do not let the good memories he brought Washington D.C. escape you, even if they are outweighed by the negative.