We have seen this before. A back-up quarterback comes in to lead his team over the final few games of the regular season, only to later be traded or cash in with a huge contract through free agency. Scott Mitchell. Matt Schaub. Matt Flynn. It has been going on for years now. With the news that the Washington Redskins are benching Robert Griffin III over the final three games of the 2013 NFL season – whether due to injuries or ineffectiveness – so that they can start Kirk Cousins, one has to wonder if this move is at least slightly motivation to showcase their back-up in order to deal him for a high draft pick in 2014.
Washington head coach Mike Shanahan has said before that he believes that Cousins is a capable starting quarterback in the NFL. He also told reporters that “maybe we can bring a first-round pick (back)” if Cousins plays well enough in Washington’s final three games.
He was not joking.
With the season being lost in Washington, it may be in the team’s best interest to see what they have on the bench. While Griffin III has certainly taken a gigantic step backward in 2013, he may still need time to heal. If he can regain his old form and return to full health, then all may not be lost going forward.
But, with 2013 nearly at an end, and the dream of returning to the playoffs having disappeared quite some time ago, maybe the Redskins are smart to sit Griffin III over the final three games and see if Cousins is indeed good enough to play in this league.
Especially if they can convince other teams that he can start, forcing them to offer up a high draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft that will help the Redskins focus on filling one of many holes they will have entering next season.