Is Robert Griffin III holding back Washington’s coaching search?
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen mentioned on NFL Insiders Monday that current Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, a coveted name in multiple head coaching searches around the league, would want to go somewhere with an “established” quarterback.
That comment sparked this discussion on Twitter: Which quarterbacks on teams with coaching vacancies fit that “established” tag?
Matthew Stafford in Detroit, sure; maybe Jake Locker in Tennessee. But what about Robert Griffin III? He has a division title, which neither Stafford nor Locker can boast, and two years of starting experience. Even with Kirk Cousins in town (for now), Griffin’s locked in as the starter — the offense is built around him.
Yet, there are growing questions about what exactly RGIII’s relationship is with Washington owner Daniel Snyder. The latest log on the fire came from the Washington Post‘s Sally Jenkins:
On the surface, the presence of Griffin should be a lure for a head coach: Who wouldn’t want to work with an electromagnetic talent who just needs some schooling as a dropback passer to become one of the most powerful weapons in the league, right? …
Instead, any head coaching candidate will be hesitant about working with a player whose rampant owner-empowered entitlement was clearly part of the team’s problem this season. Once, Griffin was an immensely likable, unpretentious kid who was wide open to collaboration. But according to insiders, Griffin’s public campaign to have the offense altered for him was just the tip of his egotism in his second year.
Those remarks fall in line with something Cousins said last week: “I’m sure Mr. Snyder and Robert and those people will have a lot of input as to who the hire is.”
The Redskins reportedly denied that Griffin would be involved in the hiring process, which in most cases would be a no-brainer. However, the narrative on Griffin clearly has shifted from his to-the-rescue rookie season, with the front office’s apparent special treatment of him adding to that perception. (For what it’s worth, Stafford met with coaching candidate Jim Caldwell last week, reportedly at the QB’s request.)
It almost goes without saying that the first task for Washington’s new coach will be coming to an understanding with Griffin, in hopes of erasing any lingering issues — whether they be real or not.
Is it possible that one or two of the possible replacements for Mike Shanahan would rather not deal with that public headache? Or that they would not want to gamble on where Snyder’s loyalty lies?
Sure. And that might be problematic for Washington.