“Warming the Bench” blog – Say it ain’t so: RG3 still in trade limbo

The NFL trade deadline came and went with little news to report, as usual. One non-trade did raise some eyebrows though: RG3 is still with the Washington Redskins, as the third string QB.

What really caught some RG3 and Baylor fan’s attention, though, is that reports say Washington didn’t receive a single offer for the former second overall pick. In fact, they didn’t get a single call to even test the water.

This led some to believe that Baylor’s Heisman trophy winner’s career is essentially over after only four years. After all, if teams in a QB starved league weren’t interested in even trading a seventh round pick for him in 2015, what would change in the 2016 offseason?

The answer is twofold:

The entire league knows RG3 will not be on Washington’s roster next year. It makes little sense to trade a draft pick for a QB that can be pursue in free agency, unless the team is certain they want him. The only thing a team would gain in a trade for RG3 is the guarantee that another team could not swoop in and take him instead. That would require, however, the team to have complete confidence that they want him on their team.

Even if a team is certain they want RG3 on their roster, the next problem is much harder to justify.

In April 2015 Washington decided to execute the fifth year option of his rookie contract. That means that he is guaranteed 16 million in 2016 if he plays for Washington, or for a team who trades for him.

They could cut him before the start of camp and not have to pay him, but the contract is guaranteed in case of injury. If RG3 goes to a team in 2015, gets injured and can’t pass a physical at the start of the 2016 season then the team owes him the entire 16 million.

That stipulation should be concerning to teams because of RG3’s extensive injury history.

If Washington releases RG3 at the end of this season, however, any team who pursues him in free agency can negotiate a new contract that is better suited to their situation.

That is the real rub. A team doesn’t take a 16 million-cap hit for a player unless they’re certain he’s going to be their starter.

So while the headlines look grim for the future of the 2012 rookie of the year, his circumstances are actually holding him back. I can’t imagine there won’t be a single team who gives RG3 a shot in 2016, at the very least as a backup.

A change of scenery is also probably exactly what he needs. I will save the details of exactly what went wrong for him in Washington for a later post, but be assured that the current environment is toxic for him and he had zero chance to succeed in 2015. I seriously doubt RG3’s career is over and would bet that he is on a roster in 2016, just not in the nation’s capital.

Have any thoughts about RG3’s current situation? I could talk about the details all day. Let me know what you think on Twitter @Trey_Gregory.