The Robert Griffin III era in Washington is officially over.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the move, citing a source, with Andrew Walker of Redskins.com and Tom Pelissero of USA Today confirming Griffin's exit. The Redskins have since announced the move.
After the move, Griffin commented on his time in Washington:
Robert Griffin III @RGIII
It was a blessing guys. I just want to say thank you. https://t.co/wzHbsRMlhL2016-3-7 16:12:13
Prior to his release, Griffin alluded to his impending free agency via his Twitter account:
Robert Griffin III @RGIII
We have to face the challenges life presents and never back down. Keep Fighting!2016-3-7 14:10:47
Since he was owed over $16 million in salary next season, cutting Griffin was the obvious move, especially since he didn't appear in a regular-season game in 2015.
As for what's next for Griffin, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported that he does not believe the Dallas Cowboys are "in play right now for [Griffin]." However, Albert Breer of NFL Network said the Kansas City Chiefs appear to be "the best fit" for Griffin.
The writing was quite literally on the wall when Griffin left a note at his locker following the Redskins' 35-18 Wild Card Round loss to the Green Bay Packers, as captured by Fox 5's Bob Barnard:
Bob Barnard @barnardfox5dc
Here's what @RGIII left on his locker at Redskins Park. Somebody asked me to share this. @fox5dc https://t.co/V3LuQu4tOv2016-1-11 16:23:34
It's been something of a football soap opera in the nation's capital since Griffin's performance on the field began to decline. After guiding Washington to an NFC East crown in 2012, Griffin tore his ACL and LCL in the postseason that followed and hasn't regained the form he flashed before.
Griffin seemed to come back too soon from his severe knee problems during the 2013 campaign, leading to a 3-13 record for Washington and the departure of head coach Mike Shanahan. Relations with current coach Jay Gruden were strained as well, especially when the Redskins went 4-12 last season.
Failing to become a consistent pocket passer, which is a prerequisite in Gruden's West Coast offense, Griffin simply hasn't looked the part of a franchise quarterback. RG3's unique athleticism and arm talent could only get him by for so long.
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Ownership reportedly continued to be in Griffin's corner in late August when it was revealed the coaching staff and front office wanted to move on from the young signal-caller, according to ESPN.com's Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter.
This decision to cut Griffin loose was a lot easier for general manager Scot McCloughan since Kirk Cousins seized the starting QB job this year and guided the Redskins to the NFC East title.
ESPN's Skip Bayless did well to describe the surprisingly promising situation that's unfolded with Cousins' play at the most important position:
Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless
Shockingly, Dan Snyder's Redskins are now the model of stability in the NFC East.2016-1-3 21:34:56
Washington can move forward as a united front and now has a stable solution under center. Its gamble to spend a second-round pick and two future first-round selections to land Griffin paid immediate, big dividends but has ultimately flamed out.
With division rivals Philadelphia and New York undergoing coaching changes and the Cowboys coming off a horrendous season, the perpetually unstable Redskins have managed to ascend to the top of the division—and may be there to stay. Griffin's release is symbolic of that shocking development.
Given the immediate production he had as a rookie and plenty of time to get healthy, Griffin is bound to get a hard look with a different team. If he can refine his skills from the pocket and truly grasp the nuances of a pro-style offense, he has a chance to salvage a stellar career.