With six games left in the 2014 regular season, Washington has a big decision to make regarding the player for whom they gave up three first-round picks and a second-round pick in 2012.
By May 3, 2015, only days after the three-year anniversary of the arrival of Robert Griffin III in Washington, the team needs to determine whether to extend his rookie contract through 2016. To activate the fifth-year option, Washington must tender Griffin a 2016 salary that, given his status as a top-10 draft pick, equals the 2015 transition tag for quarterbacks.
Based on current calculations, that’s $18.4 million. The salary would be guaranteed for injury only, which for a guy who has had a few serious injuries makes the possibility of paying him $18.4 million to not play in 2016 a more-than-negligible possibility.
If Washington decides not to extend the contract, he’ll make $3.2 million for 2015 and then, barring a new deal, become a free agent. Based on Griffin’s current level of performance, the team may be inclined not to pick up the option.
“He has a lot of improving to do, obviously,” coach Jay Gruden told reporters regarding Griffin after the game.
If Griffin doesn’t start improving quickly, it’s hard to imagine Washington rolling the dice with $18.4 million for 2016.