A funny thing happened on Robert Griffin III’s way to become a leader of the Washington Redskins. He has not received a contract. And so, Griffin, and third-round draft pick Josh LeRibeus, are absent from the team’s five-day mini-camp.
It would seem the team would have made it happen by now. After all, Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and Heisman Trophy winner, has been declared the starting quarterback. And as a rookie, all the practice time he can get the better.
On top of that, he fits into a pay slot. Griffin is due for a four-year contract worth about $21 million, roughly two-thirds of which would be the signing bonus. The hang-up apparently is “offset” language that would govern the guaranteed money in the event Griffin is waived before the contract’s expiration.
Griffin and LeRibeus are not considered holdouts because training camp doesn’t officially begin until July 26. Neither can be on the field this week with their fellow newcomers until they have signed their contracts.
The collective bargaining agreement that was ratified by the NFL and the union to end last year’s lockout was supposed to make rookie deals easier to complete with a system of slotting that paid players based on their draft position. It worked well for the Redskins for their choices from the fourth through seventh rounds, all of whom were signed by early June.
But it has been problematic for Griffin and LeRibeus, whose agent, Jordan Woy, said he had been talking to the Redskins on a daily basis, but they have yet to close the deal.
Griffin’s agent, Ben Dogra, was unavailable for comment. His client attended the exhibition basketball game Monday night between the American and Brazilian men’s Olympic teams at Verizon Center in Washington.
Fourteen of the 32 first-round draft choices, including top overall pick Andrew Luck, and 12 of the 32 third-round selections remain unsigned.