After a season in which he was active in one game and played no snaps, Robert Griffin III cleaned out his locker at Redskins Park.
What now for the team and the quarterback they gave up so much to obtain in 2012?
As it stands right now, Griffin is under contract with the Redskins for the 2016 season. Under the terms of the fifth-year option that the team exercised last spring, he is on the books for a salary of $16.155 million.
That salary is guaranteed for injury only. Griffin suffered a concussion during the preseason but he was cleared before the season started. He didn’t play in any games and there were no reports that he was injured during practice. Since Griffin was on the 53-man roster, the team would have been required to report any injuries.
It is safe to assume, then, that Griffin either has passed or will be able to pass an exit physical. If that happens, the injury guarantee is void and that the Redskins will be free to release Griffin without further financial obligation. Barring some totally unexpected developments, that is the course of action that the team will take.
The earliest the Redskins can release Griffin is on February 8, the day after the Super Bowl. Since the option year guarantee will kick in if he is still on the roster on March 15, which is the first day of the new league year, the team would release him before that date.
As of now, the Redskins have around $10 million in salary cap space for 2016. That number includes the $16.155 million tied up in Griffin’s contract option. When he is released that money will immediately be freed up and added to the team’s available cap space.
As a four-year veteran, Griffin would not be subject to waivers, an academic point since no team would want to claim his $16 million contract. He would immediately become a free agent and would be able to sign wherever he wants.