Kirk Cousins is expected to start at quarterback for the Washington Redskins this weekend over Robert Griffin III, according to ESPN’s John Keim. When Mike Shanahan told the media earlier this week that he was considering shutting RG3 down for the remainder of the season to protect his health, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the former Baylor star had played his last snap in 2013.
The Redskins are 3-10, so it doesn’t really matter who their starting quarterback is for the final three games of the season. The most intriguing aspect of the story centers around Shanahan’s motivation for benching Griffin. On Tuesday, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported that a source close to the Redskins believes Shanahan’s decision to bench RG3 could be an attempt at getting team owner Daniel Snyder to fire him.
Shanahan is under contract through next season. If he is fired, he would in all likelihood receive the remainder of the $7 million he is still owed. If he chooses to resign, he would forfeit the remainder of the money.
Maske also noted that the details of Shanahan’s contract are not known, but many believe it gives him the final say over personnel decisions like who will be the team’s starting quarterback. It’s possible that if Snyder attempts to intervene and force Shanahan to start RG3, Shanahan could contend that the terms of his contract were violated. In an instance like that, Shanahan might be able to resign and still collect the remainder of his money.
That theory would make sense and it would certainly help explain why an earlier report claimed Snyder would not step in if Shanahan chooses to bench Griffin. Snyder and RG3 seem to be so tight that it is widely assumed Shanahan is tired of their relationship. It would not be far-fetched to think that he is looking for a way out by benching Griffin.