Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 31, 24 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Why it is highly unlikely that the Redskins will trade RG3
Why can’t the Redskins trade Robert Griffin III instead of just letting him go?
Many fans are asking that questions, wondering why the Redskins can’t get something, anything in return for the player on whom the team spent three first-round picks and a second to acquire just four years ago.
Technically, they can. But it won’t happen and here’s why.
Griffin is under contract with the Redskins for 2016 for $16.155 million. That is the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. It was guaranteed for injury up until he passed his exit physical after the season ended. It is not currently guaranteed but the guarantee will kick back in if he is still on the roster when the new league year begins on March 9. Keep that in mind.
Right now, rosters are frozen until the day after the Super Bowl. Griffin can be cut any time after that date and his salary will come off of the books.
So why not trade him and let him work out a contract with his new team instead of just cutting him? Because players can’t be traded can’t until the league year begins on March 9 and that’s the day his deal becomes guaranteed. No team is going to trade for Griffin along with a guaranteed contract like that.
Could they set something up in advance, give Griffin permission negotiate a new contract with another team, have him sign that deal, and then trade him to that team? Under the rules, yes. But it won’t happen because Griffin won’t want to make it happen on his end.
What is the incentive for Griffin to agree to a new contract to facilitate a trade? The outcome that is to his best advantage would be for him to get released and be able to talk to and negotiate a contract with any of the other 31 teams that might want a quarterback. There simply is no reason for him to limit his options like that. There is no upside for him in that scenario.
Griffin has the leverage here. He can simply wait it out and not answer phone calls originating from the 703 area code. As March 9 approaches, the Redskins will be faced with the choice of releasing him or getting stuck with a backup quarterback at a fully guaranteed $16.155 million salary, a cap hit that would severely hamper their ability to negotiate a new contract with the player they want at quarterback, Kirk Cousins. They will, of course, choose to let Griffin walk.
I suppose you can’t completely rule out anything. But all signs point to the Redskins letting Griffin go sometime between February 8 and March 9 and nothing that makes any sense will prevent that from happening.
—The Redskins last played a game 21 days ago. It will be about 224 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 24; NFL free agency starts 38; 2016 NFL draft 88
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