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Redskins Guarantee Fans at Least Two More Years of Quarterback Drama

Robert Griffin, III will be here through at least 2016.
Griffin, in one of his rare ambulatory moments last season. Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

Washington’s quarterback controversy will continue through the 2016 NFL season with Dan Snyder’s brain trust picking up a fifth-year option on Robert Griffin, III worth $16.2 million. The decision, which was first reported by NFL.com and confirmed Monday by general manager Scot McCloughan, could mean at least two more years of the team placing its fate in the hands of a passer whose every step induces panic over the ligaments in his knees.

Griffin, who is going into his fourth season, only played nine games last year, and just seven of those as the starter. Despite two disappointing seasons in a row, Griffin hasn’t lost his messianic lock on the starting job—head coach Jay Gruden said in February that Griffin will start again when Washington opens its 2015 season on September 13 against the Miami Dolphins.

The drama could be amped up further this week during the NFL Draft if Washington, which has a first-round pick for the first time since the 2012 trade that landed Griffin, selects another quarterback.

Griffin has mostly stayed out of the public eye since the end of the 2014 season, although he surfaced in Sunday’s Washington Post to offer a dopey slogan for the upcoming campaign: “Talk small, play big.” Even if he doesn’t play big, Griffin, who is scheduled to earn $3.27 million in base salary this year, is set up to get paid in 2016. The $16.2 million option for next year is guaranteed against injuries, meaning that if Griffin finishes the 2015 season in good health, the team can walk away. But if he gets hurt—again—Snyder will be on the hook for the money.

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.