Quarterback Robert Griffin III’s tenure with the Redskins began with such promise, and quickly took a sharp turn in the other direction.
After leading Washington to the playoffs in 2012, injuries and dysfunction combined to derail Griffin’s early success. He regressed in 2013, missed most of 2014 and was active for just one game in 2015.
Washington finally released Griffin in March, and with the quarterback set to join the Browns, here is a timeline of his career so far.
NFL draft 2012 – Redskins trade up to draft Griffinalready on the team, St. Louis deals its pick to Washington ahead of the draft. In exchange, St. Louis receives Washington’s first-rounder (No. 6) and second-rounder (No. 39), along with its first-round choices in 2013 (No. 22) and 2014 (No. 2).
The Redskins choose Griffin, a dual-threat quarterback out of Baylor who won the Heisman Trophy in 2011 after throwing for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns with 699 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing.
The Rams end up trading the No. 6 pick to Dallas for the Cowboys’ first and second round selections, and eventually find themselves with an eight-player haul as a result of the trade.
Sept. 9, 2012 – The debut
Oct. 7, 2012 – The first injury scare
Oct. 14, 2012 – Griffin’s 76–yard touchdown run seals win
Perhaps the defining play of Griffin’s rookie season comes in Week 6 against the Vikings. Griffin helps Washington rally from an early nine-point deficit and puts the team in front 31–12 in the fourth quarter. After Minnesota rallies, cutting the score to 31–26 late, Griffin scampers for a 76-yard touchdown to seal the win.
November 2012 – Griffin throws eight touchdowns in five days
Amid a seven-game winning streak that would help lead the Redskins to an NFC East division title, Griffin throws four touchdowns in a win over the Eagles on Nov. 18. He matches that performance just four days later on Thanksgiving in a win over the Cowboys. In those two games combined, Griffin throws eight touchdowns and just one interception, also recording 113 yards rushing.
Dec. 9, 2012 – Griffin’s knee problems begin
Dec. 26, 2012 – Griffin is named to the Pro Bowl
Jan. 6, 2013 – The Dr. James Andrews controversy
“[Griffin] didn’t even let us look at him,” Andrews said. “He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players and took off back to the field. It wasn’t our opinion. We didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me.”
Jan. 6, 2013 – Griffin re-injures his right knee
In a wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Griffin twists his right knee, re-injuring it. Three days later, he has surgery to repair his ACL and LCL.
May 22, 2013 – Dad chimes in
Sept. 9, 2013 – Griffin returns, but Redskins lose
Oct. 20, 2013 – Out of his slump?
Oct. 27, 2013 – Griffin leaves with left knee injury
Nov. 25, 2013 – A new low
Dec. 11, 2013 – Replaced by Kirk Cousins
Sept. 14, 2014 – Carted off with dislocated left ankle
Nov. 25, 2014 – Benched for Colt McCoy
Dec. 28, 2014 – Ending the season on a high note
Feb. 18, 2015 – Mike Shanahan blasts Griffin
“Yeah, he did ask for a meeting. He did talk about, number one, he wanted change,” Shanahan says. “He talked about protection shortening his career. What I tried to share with him is I thought he had probably as good a protection as most rookies do have in their first year because of what he was able to do with the running game. If you compare [Griffin’s protection] to Andrew Luck, it’s not even close. He actually [mentioned] what plays were acceptable and unacceptable, and when he started talking about what plays were acceptable and unacceptable, and that he wasn’t a rookie anymore and wanted to voice his opinion.”
Griffin would respond in July, calling it an “urban legend.”
Aug. 20, 2015 – Concussion and descent down depth chart
Jan. 11, 2016 – Locker clear-out
After he was inactive for all but one game during the season, Griffin clears out his locker at FedExField, leaving behind only a quote from Mother Teresa that had hung there all season.
March 7, 2016 – Released by Redskins
Griffin is informed by the Redskins that he has been released, ending his tenure in Washington.
March 24 – Signed by Cleveland Browns
The second act of Griffin’s career begins, as he agrees to join the quarterback-needy Cleveland Browns.