- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Robert Griffin III cleaned out his locker on Monday at Redskins Park. He filled a box with football equipment, his superhero toys and various other items.

What he left behind was a framed Bible passage and his victim impact statement.

It was a postcard handed out to players earlier this season and had been in his locker since then. Upon his departure, it was now prominently taped for all to see.

The postcard, based on “The Paradoxical Commandments,” included some of the following passages:



“People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.”

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

“If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”

There are others as well. The postcard read as if Griffin had cleaned out the draft folder of his Twitter account — all the tweets he saved throughout the season and didn’t put out there.

What is clear from what he left behind is that he forgives us. He forgives all of us.

People were unreasonable and self-centered to him, but he forgave them. He was kind, yet he was accused of being selfish and having ulterior motives, but he was kind anyway.

Everyone was jealous of RGIII, but he was happy anyway.

The point? He was a victim.

If Griffin believes he was simply a victim here in Washington — that he was wronged somehow, and he is still the best quarterback on the Redskins roster, as he declared in an interview with WJLA-Ch. 7 in August, less than two weeks before coach Jay Gruden named Kirk Cousins as the starter, then he hasn’t learned anything from the humiliation of being invisible for this entire NFC East championship season.

“I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy,” Griffin said back then. “It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play. I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that.”

If he still believes that — and that he was the victim instead of being a third-string quarterback who did not dress for all but one game this entire season — then it is Griffin who is being unreasonable, irrational and self-centered.
That victim act will wind up driving Griffin out of the league. It won’t play wherever his new home may be.

Griffin is being credited for his silence this season — aided by the Redskins, who made sure that he was off-limits to the media while in the locker room.

Robert handled [the season] very well,” Gruden told reporters Monday.”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,” Gruden said. “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.”

Gruden referred to him as a “third-string quarterback.” Someone should tape that in Griffin’s locker at his next stop.

People want to pin a medal on him for not being the disruptive force he often was when he was the starting quarterback, but really, what were his options?  To publicly go to war with his coaches? Who was going to stand with him in that locker room to fight that war? Did one teammate step up when the decision to bench him was made and speak on behalf of Griffin?

Instead, what we have read were statements similar to what center Kory Lichtensteiger said recently about the decision to name Cousins the starter: Cousins was the reason for the Redskins’ success, proving that there were rewards for playing well and repercussions for not performing.

Or, what defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois told reporters when he said that he was “confident as soon as Coach picked Cousins. He believed in one guy, he ran with him, and the whole team was behind him.”

I’m sure Griffin forgives Lichtensteiger and Jean Francois — as he forgives the rest of us.

⦁ Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 and espn980.com.

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