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Analyzing the cap numbers of the Redskins’ RG3 options

Dec 19, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT


There are a lot of questions and confusion regarding the contractual status of Robert Griffin III for 2015 and beyond. Here is a look at the current situation and some of the options that the Redskins and Griffin will have going forward.

This coming season will be the last of the four-year, $21.1 million contract that was the slotted deal when he came in as the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. Griffin’s 2015 salary will be $3.27 million, fully guaranteed. His salary cap number is $6.72 million, which includes a charge of $3.45 million for the prorated portion of his signing bonus.

As noted, the salary is guaranteed. If the Redskins decided to release Griffin, they would have to pay him that $3.27 million and it would count against the cap. And the money can’t be offset so even if Griffin signed with another team the Redskins would still owe him the entire $3.27 million.

A trade would relieve them of the guaranteed salary. The prorated bonus is $3.45 million will remain on the books as a 2015 cap charge regardless.

Right now it looks like the Griffin will be on the 2015 roster. That means that the Redskins have a decision to make regarding the 2016 option they hold on Griffin’s contract. The fifth-year option must be declared by early May and for a top 10 pick like Griffin it pays a one-year salary equal to the transition tag amount for the player’s position. While that salary can’t be determined right now, it will be in the range of $16 million.

When the option is declared it becomes guaranteed for injury immediately. That obviously is a key consideration with a player like Griffin, who has suffered from two major injuries since entering the league. If the player is healthy, the team can withdraw the option offer up to the start of the league year. If not withdrawn the option becomes guaranteed at that time.

There really isn’t much of a point in getting into the weeds on the technicalities of the option year because it seems highly unlikely that the Redskins will use it on Griffin. The way he has played the last two seasons there is simply no way that he can be considered to be worth $16 million for a season, at least based on what the organization will know in May. Throw in the injury risk and there really isn’t much debate about it.

The Redskins do have some insurance if Griffin turns it around next year and reverts to being the superstar player we saw in 2012. They could give him the franchise or transition tag if they can’t agree on a contract. The franchise salary would cost some $4 million more than the option but they wouldn’t have to declare it until after the 2015 season.

One more thing—the decision to exercise the option has no effect on the 2015 season. Even though the intention to invoke it has to be announced prior to the season, the final year of the contract is not affected. The decision on the option does not have an effect on the ability to use the franchise or transition tags either.

  1. goback2rfk - Dec 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    What else should be mentioned it that the Redskins can always sign him too a new contract. No need for all these options and tags and stuff. They can simply offer him up another 3 to 5 year contract and I think that is what they will do.

    • fwhalstead1 - Dec 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Only way he gets offered a contract is for his play to get exceptionally better on the field. There is no way in hell he gets a new contract before the end of 2015 and going out on a limb – there is a 50/50 chance he is even on the roster next year if any trade of value is offered – and yes I’m talking Kirk Cousins type trade value…the other 50% scenario would have him on the roster COMPETEING for a starting job, not have it GIVEN to him like it was last year and this year…everyone with eyes could see that Griffin was not ready last year and in now way, shape, or form should he have started game 1 this year…2 games left against Philly and Dallas and it would sure be nice to see Robert play out of his mind….Skins need a starting QB and right now on this roster they don’t have 1…

      • Stephfan - Dec 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        If they trade griffin for a 3rd or 4th than that would be beyond stupid… Griffin should play out his next year but there will be a qb battle in camp next season. Griffin will have to earn his spot, as will cousins and whoever they bring in. But I feel in the end, griffin will win #httr

      • goback2rfk - Dec 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        He will get the job next year. Gruden has Cousins living in a dungeon right now and there is no sense that Cousins will have much to do with this team besides possibly being the number 2 guy or 3rd guy. McCoy is not worth resigning and they wont because Cousins is still under contract also. RG3 will get the job by default.

        Think about it, we will not draft Jameis Winston will we?!?! I dont think so. If that is the case Robert is the number 1 guy going into next year.. Cousins as a back up (already under contract) and probably bring in a Pat White type guy as 3rd string (paid the league minimum)

        Cousins showed us what he could do and RG3 has won out in that competition and that is why RG3 is starting right now.. Can not imagine a QB competition between Cousins and RG3 next year because RG3 has already won the competition. It will be RG3 moving forward, and he will get another contract for probably 3 years 30 million with incentives. We simply have no where to turn at the QB spot unless we draft Jameis Winston. RG3 wins out by default, he wins just by being around… Think of all the crap out there next season, would you want say Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Mark Sanchez in Redskins Park, I think not.. RG3 wins, lets hope he can return to style.

        • Banananana - Dec 19, 2014 at 3:54 PM

          I agree with a 3 yr 30 mil contract, I don’t know what other teams would value a player at 10 mil a year that hasn’t finsihed a full season, Danny boy will do whatever it takes to get him to stay in WSH, I think griffin now realizes he is not the man in charge even though Snyder allowed him to run a coach out of town, Gruden may have “unintentionally” helped Griffin grow up and mature, I don’t think it was on purpose I just think, while benchin griffin for personal reasons, he helped griffin realize that you can not let someone else play your position for you may not ever get it back. Griffin looked a lot better against the Giants , I won’t say he looked as good as his rookie year but he seemed to have a passion to be out there. Big auditions coming up against the Eagles and Cowboys but i believe having these division games at the end will help prove who deserves to be on the roster next year

      • penz84 - Dec 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        He also has to show he can stay injury free for a whole season.

    • Joe Greene - Dec 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Why in the world would this franchise dedicate more money to a self-absorbed nothing whose only NFL caliber skill was running (which he can’t do anymore)? Bob is horrible in the locker room, worse in the pocket, and is regressing at an alarming rate. Who in their right mind would pay for another 3-5 years of that garbage?

      • goback2rfk - Dec 19, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        He will get 1 more year to do or die I believe. Snyder probably wants to see what he can do in a season where he does not get injured. RG3’s second season was coming off that knee so he probably gets a pass for that season. And then he blew his ankle this year, maybe if he can stay healthy and put some games back to back next year he will get better.

        • bullets2586 - Dec 20, 2014 at 7:39 AM

          the problem is that he ALWAYS gets injured. His tall, lanky frame can’t take a beating, so he will always be injured.

      • moonriver22 - Dec 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        As a long suffering fan, I’d rather see Gruden get all this scrutiny over RGIII. Our QB is already on his 2nd HC and OC, and he’s played about half the time during his 3 year stint. This year, he also has a non-existent o-line. If Andrew Luck had signed with the Skins, he’d be in the same mess. (Even as it is, he’s putting up some good stats but the Colts are concerned about too many miscues.)

        People need to chill. Get the guy a little protection and all ends well. He threw for 3200 yards his rookie year, and it seems a bit moronic to assume he’s forgotten how to do it.

        • bullets2586 - Dec 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

          You’re crazy to say that Luck couldn’t have success if he was the QB. Our two average QB’s have had good games this year. So either RGIII is bombing or WE HAVE 3 AWESOME QB’S by your post!!!!! The guy stinks. Can you guys please take your rose colored glasses off. It’s fans that follow blindly that’s killing this franchise. Stop accepting crappy play and stop making excuses for RGIII. The line is not horrible, it’s average. But when your QB can’t read a defense and holds the ball for 8 seconds looking for a miracle he’s going to be sacked. A Qb is supposed to get the ball off in 3 seconds. RGIII doesn’t even come close to doing that.

  2. jim - Dec 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    I realize all Skins fans want success like we all knew back in the day, but now we look for little successes. Like the last game, when RGIII replaced McCoy, it seemed to feel like he was more in tune with what Coach was wanting from him, he seemed to do the best he could with an Offensive line that can’t hold any defender from attacking our backfield.

    So, my Xmas wish for the Redskins is this…..get the highest draft pick possible, the trade it down come draft day to get multiple 1st round and multiple 2nd round picks and use those pick for Offensive lineman who will start immediately! Here is my reason, when the Skins of old won, we had the HOGS and we dominated the kine of scrimmage and you know what, show me stats of RGIII when he has 4 secs of time to throw the ball, you will find out he is just as successful as the top QB and that fired is how we make our team and RGIII better for next year and beyond. Take my word, NO QB would be successful with our poor lineman and you can take that to the bank.
    Let’s not be so technical, just trade down and get more picks and improve our lines and the wins will come!

    • skinsgame - Dec 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Griffin did not play well against the Giants. He just played a touch less poorly. It was still a losing effort that netted 10 pts.

    • moonriver22 - Dec 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Well said.

      • moonriver22 - Dec 20, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        Oops, that was directed to Jim.

  3. mr.moneylover - Dec 19, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    All rg3 needs is to go to quarterback school one on one and he will learn the technique and fundamentals on bein a pocket passing QB…we have wide receivers but we dont have a solid o-line and we dont have a running back to pickup blitz and protect except chris Thompson and silas redd ..alfred morris struggle in that area all year long witch make it more difficult for a QB…alfred morris get alot of credit cause the yards he pickup but he have major issues in other areas in his game he need to correct and correct fast he also gotta remember hes not hand pick by Jay gruden either not just robert

  4. mr.moneylover - Dec 19, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Like jay gruden said rg3 is gonna get alot of blame even if its not him…but we seen its not him we seen its been o-line struggles and its been running backs failed to pickup blitzes…helu and alfred morris get some blame from me too…u got a short chris Thompson who laid a big hit on a linebacker last week but the weeks before you will see Alfred Morris or helu either miss picking up the blitz or basically getting caught out of postion

  5. goback2rfk - Dec 19, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    RG3 will be the man at the QB position for the foreseeable future. There is no one there to get in his way now that McCoy is done and McCoys contract is up. Cousins is in the poop house, there is just no threats to take RG3’s job anymore… The only way that would ever happen is is somehow our pick was high enough to get either Marcus or Jameis than maybe RG3 might be in trouble, but i dont think the Skins plan on using their high pick on the QB position again.

  6. polofourme - Dec 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Just in case you missed it, the WP reports, “Griffin’s team has lost the past 10 games in which he has taken the majority of the offensive snaps — a more meaningful measure than the technicality of who “started” that game. In the past two seasons, he has played the most snaps (by far) in 18 games. Washington is 3-15. His quarterback rating has fallen every season and is now so low (25.5, based on ESPN’s QBR formula) it is possible he ultimately will be no better than Heath Shuler.” And you wonder why IMO Griffin is one of the worst QBs in the NFL over the last two years and why its easy to predict they will not exercise the option year but IMO he will be cut or traded although I can not think of one team that would trade for him based on his performance. His RECORD, the facts, his play are the only reasons I need to know to arrive at this conclusion…his incredibly poor play and his inability to master even the most fundamental skills of any NFL QB..a three step drop is completely beyond him even after two years of attempts by two separate HCs to coach him up all of which led him to be benched in favor of a third string career backup QB…tell me where I am wrong..can you think of any good reason to keep one of the worst draft choices in NFL and Redskins history. Why would you keep a player like Griffin who is poison in the locker room and a failure by any measureable standard that any NFL QB is asked to meet…good bye Griffin and good riddance. /Does anyone want to go thru another year with this guy on the roster…time to move on and start to rebuild the roster…Griffin should not have any place on that roster.

    • Joe Greene - Dec 19, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      ESPN’s QBR formula is a complete and utter joke as far as statistics go. It’s a worthless measure.

      • skinsgame - Dec 20, 2014 at 9:26 AM

        The QBR notwithstanding, it’s hard to disagree with the points he makes about Griffins play. It’s just so bad…

  7. thatstinks - Dec 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    They will trade Bob for a pick or two and then he will restructure his contract with his new team . Its the perfect time to trade him if they don’t see him as the long term starter .

    • goback2rfk - Dec 19, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      They wont trade him. I do not think they will get enough to make it worthwhile considering what was given up to get him. It is too early to label him a “bust” so he will get another shot next year to prove his worth. AT that point is when they will resign him for another 3 years or so to a modest contract. One that lets them out under certain circumstances or better yet not as much guaranteed money involved.

  8. brucefan1 - Dec 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Said it before and will say it again — the ONLY way Robert Griffin III is a Redskin in 2016 is if the Skins decide to slap one of those high-priced franchise or a transition tags that Rich mentioned in his article.

    They will not pick up that $16 mil per year option in May. (I think we can ALL agree on that!)

    With that established, Griffin will either be released after the 2015 season due to a lack of improvement in his performance, or he will WALK AWAY when his rookie contract expires, whether the Redskins want him back or not.

    Why would Griffin EVER want to come back to a team, or a coach, or town where he’s been repeatedly subject to the level of unsubstantiated slander, gossip and innuendo he has in the DMV the past two years?? (And I’m STILL waiting for one of you RG3-hating posters to come up with ANY of said “substantiation”! LOL)

    To recap: If Griffin continues to struggle in 2015, Jay Gruden FINALLY gets to gleefully hand him his walking papers. If Griffin DOES improve as a NFL QB, then HE hands the Skins his walking papers, and goes out to sort through any number of options from other teams.

    Quite simple, really. No?

  9. nc04bear - Dec 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    How bout building an OLine like Seattle or Dallas and then you will really know what he can do. The difference in his game from straight drop back and play-action is night and day. If he has time just one second more he will deliver, but in any case, he does need to be more decisive. However, as it is right now, you put any QB back there with that OLine pass protecting and you won’t get any more wins. What pisses me off is how the Skins fans just ride him til he’s a goner and don’t even talk about the OLine.

    Robert is not your typical black QB athlete. He is a different kind of personality. He is tough as nails. Nobody takes more hits even when he does get rid of the ball and he keeps on getting up. HE WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON HIS TEAM. However, he does need to let go of the stubbornness and be more coachable or teachable, but his talent is unusual. And you will never hear of him in the same character conversation as a Ray Lewis or Ray Rice or Josh Gordon. He is an outstanding person and if he cannot make it in DC he will go elsewhere and be just fine.

    He is only 24, still 5 years away from the known PEAK year. So, there is plenty of time to reinvent himself. Gruden OTOH is not much better at coaching than Robert is at QB right now. You cannot blame ALL the losses on Robert. I cannot imagine the pressure he felt from year one to two, especially after knee reconstruction. DC was up on Seattle 14-0 in the 1st qtr and then it all came apart. Was that Robert;s fault? Hell no. That was an organization who wanted to see Superman win a Super Bowl on one leg and it wasn’t going to happen. He should have never played another down after the hit by Ngata but DC wasn’t having it with all the RG3 chants and the desperation for a hero. So this is what you get. He’s still the same guy and now he needs to find it again. There is a reason he was the second overall pick.

    • genuine30096 - Dec 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Extract from ‘nc04bear’s comment …… “Robert is not your typical black QB athlete”. Elaborate, please. Exactly what is a “typical black QB athlete’?

  10. nc04bear - Dec 19, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    I agree with Bruce. if you coach rides your ass how can you focus on winning. I know Robert and all the work he has done in track and field in high school and football at Baylor is imposing for any athlete. He does need more time in the film room but I just laugh at anyone who criticizes his work ethic. There is not one athlete who works harder. First to arrive and last to leave the practice field. HE JUST NEEDS MORE TIME but I don’t know if Gruden has it in him to give him such. Who else are you going to put at QB? Take your time and develop the man you paid for. To consternate between HE IS AND HE IS NOT our guy is just stupid. Make up your mind and go with it.

  11. genuine30096 - Dec 19, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    “First to arrive and last to leave the practice field”. You sound to have a first hand experience with Griffin and what is going on at the ‘skins’ facility ‘nc04bear’,or at least your comments implies as much. So, another clarification within your comment is requested. What exactly is Griffin doing when he is “first to arrive and last to leave the practice field”? IF you know, please share; because his work is not transitioning to the show time games.

  12. genuine30096 - Dec 19, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Well, Griffin won’t be the first high draft QB bust.

  13. bullets2586 - Dec 20, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    I’m reading everyone post about RGIII and it amazes me how delusional some fans are or is it just denial of the facts that are smacking them in the face week after week. RGIII had success his rookie year because he caught most defensive coordinators off guard. Even some of that success need to be shared with Kyle and Mike whether you want to or not. But as always, defenses adapt. RGIII didn’t, or better yet, can’t. Everyone trumpets what a great athlete he is, but yet the guy can’t even do a basic baseball slide to protect himself. Watch him slide, it’s horrible. I swear he’s going to blow his own knee out trying to slide. How can a guy with that much ability not do something so basic? And speaking of basics, his footwork is garbage, he struggles with accuracy on deep and short passes, can’t read a defenses worth a darn, has no pocket presence, holds ball way to long, and obviously doesn’t care to fix these problems because he is RGIII and he’s awesome (just ask him and he’ll tell you). He is a misfit toy that needs to be banned to the island of misfit toys and forgotten about. Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen need to put the breaks on this failed experiment and count their losses. They are the masters of this disaster and Skins fans need to pull their head out of their butts and let these two jokers know that we have had it. We have such a great fan base. We always support our team, but lets face it, We have been very bad for a long time and we need to demand change. Stop going to the games and buying the merchandise and send a clear message to these two bumbling idiots that we will not accept losing season after losing season. They are ruining a great football team and screwing the fans. Archives

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