The Washington Redskins have signed rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Their top pick in the 2012 NFL draft (second overall) recently agreed to a four-year deal valued at $21.1 million.
“It can just be money thrown away if you don’t get a young quarterback signed to get him in there on time,” former NFL coach Dan Reeves said. “It’s so important for him to get there and get his timing down with his receivers and everything. There’s so much of it that’s mental.”
Griffin missed two days of classroom work and conditioning workouts for rookies last week. However, he didn’t miss any practice time. Redskins’ veterans are scheduled to report for training camp on Wednesday, and the first practice of camp is scheduled to take place on Thursday.
Griffin agreed to the contract late Tuesday night, according to his agent, Ben Dogra. He actually signed the contract on Wednesday and met his rookie teammates at Redskins Park.
His contract is fully guaranteed and includes a salary of $390,000, the rookie minimum and a signing bonus of $13.8 million. The deal has a team option for a fifth season, under the terms of the league’s rookie pay system.
Last year, at Baylor University, Griffin won the Heisman Trophy. Of course, the signing doesn’t guarantee similar success for Griffin, who already has been given the starting job by Coach Mike Shanahan. However, the Redskins and Griffin improved their chances of success by having the contract signed prior to the team’s opening practice of training camp, NFL analysts said.
“It’s a huge step,” said former NFL quarterback Warren Moon, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “I’m surprised it took even this long. The earlier that you can get in as a young quarterback and get involved – every rep is going to help him.”
Given that Griffin is now under contract, the Redskins know that at least Griffin won’t follow the paths of ex-Raider JaMarcus Russell and former Redskin Heath Shuler, quarterbacks who missed training camp time as rookies because of stalled contracts talks, and ultimately, had disappointing NFL careers.
“Not only do you miss the physical work and the mental work, but you put more pressure on yourself and more pressure is put on you from the outside,” Moon said. “It’s a big relief to get it out of the way, not only for the player but also for the organization and the fans, for everybody.”