- The Washington Times - Monday, January 11, 2016

ASHBURN — One by one, Robert Griffin III took down the assemblage of action figures that had adorned the top shelf of his Redskins Park locker for nearly four years.

Down came the green Baylor bear, a reminder of Griffin’s success during his four years in college. Down came the foot-tall Hulk, who stood above the words “Be Unstoppable,” which Griffin printed and taped underneath.

Then, minutes later, the man some once considered a superhero himself gathered his belongings in a cardboard box, walking out of the Washington Redskins’ locker room for one of the last times.

Griffin had arranged the figures, all of which represented some specific goal or trait, shortly after he was taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft in 2012. For years, they looked down from their perch, witnessing the quarterback’s greatest times and later guiding him through some of his worst.

All that remained on the shelves by late Monday morning, when players had swept through to clean out their lockers after the Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs, were two items: A silver frame inscribed with a verse from the New Testament, Philippians 4:13, and a postcard handed out to players earlier in the season based on “The Paradoxical Commandments,” written as guidelines for perseverance.

Where Griffin takes his belongings remains uncertain. Replaced as the Redskins’ starter at the end of August, the quarterback is certain to be cut by the team at some point in the next two months. He made $21.1 million during his first four seasons and team exercised its $16.2 million option on his contract last May, with that money guaranteed to Griffin only if he did not pass Monday’s exit physical.

Robert handled [the season] very well,” coach Jay Gruden said. “Obviously, he wasn’t happy. He’s a great competitor. He accomplished some great things in 2012. He really did. But, he handled it like a pro, and I think, in the long run, hopefully, it will make him a better quarterback.

“I knew he grew a lot being a third-string quarterback here. Different system, different terminology, things that were new to him, but I think the skill set that he has, and he learned from the Shanahans, and then the new stuff that he learned from us, I think, will make him a better quarterback wherever he goes, however it works out for him.”

Griffin was forbidden from talking to reporters for months, with a representative from the team’s public relations department frequently shadowing the quarterback any time he entered the locker room. His only comments of the regular season were made after a loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 18, the only game in which he was eligible to play because of a spate of injuries to his teammates.

On Monday, the team’s spokesman said Griffin could speak to reporters if he wanted, but Griffin declined.

“Don’t plan on talking, guys,” Griffin said, and when asked if he had a statement he’d like to make, he said he did not.

The postcard, which he took from inside the locker before taping it to the front, served as his only statement. It urged forgiveness, happiness and sincerity and implored one to always give their best, regardless of the circumstances.

“It was never between you and them anyway,” the last line read.

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