‘A full circle type of moment’: Robert Griffin III could be part of Commanders new ownership group

The former quarterback once considered the future of Washington’s NFL football team is “head over heels” about the possibility of being part of the Commanders new ownership group.

Robert Griffin III, a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Baylor, led Washington to the playoffs in his first season in 2012, but was released by the team after four seasons.

Griffin said Tuesday he’s “been having some really great conversations” with the potential ownership group led by Josh Harris, which includes Mitchell Rales and Magic Johnson — one of two groups to submit a $6 billion bid to buy the team from Daniel Snyder.

“I’m head over heels about that process,” he told the Rich Eisen Show.

“To be a player for that team, to not have my career to go the way that I wanted it to, or the fans wanted it to, it would be a full circle type of moment to come back and try to help that team and that organization build the winner that the fans deserve,” Griffin told Eisen.

The Rales-led group is one of two groups to have officially submitted $6 billion bids to buy the team — Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos, managing partner of a real estate firm in Toronto, has also offered a fully-funded bid.

RGIII: ‘The fans are ready to move on’

Griffin said it is time for Snyder, who bought the Washington football team in May 1999 after the death of previous owner Jack Kent Cooke, to sell the team.

RGIII said a “dark cloud” has descended over the team: “Since I left in 2015, it’s just been one thing after another. I think the team is ready to move on. I think the fans are ready to move on,” he said.

Snyder and the team are still under investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who was retained by the league to look into various aspects of the organization stemming from a congressional review into workplace misconduct that also included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for potential business improprieties. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league plans to release the findings from the report.

Snyder is facing other civil suits and investigations.

The Attorney General for the District of Columbia filed two suits in civil court against the Commanders late last year: one for a scheme to cheat fans out of ticket money and another naming Snyder, Goodell and the league, saying they colluded to deceive fans about an investigation into the team’s workplace culture that ended with a $10 million fine and no written report. The Commanders settled with the state of Maryland, agreeing to return security deposits to former season ticket holders and pay a $250,000 penalty.

An investigation by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, launched in October 2021 and including testimony from Snyder, Goodell and many others, said the team fostered a toxic workplace culture.

Griffin, now an ESPN analyst, said “it’s going to be a sad day in the Snyder household because he’s lived his entire life to be the owner of the Commanders. And now, that’s going to be taken away from him. I know the fans will rejoice, and think that because of that dark cloud, it’s time to move on.”

Griffin said the discussions with the Rales-led group continues, but he’s optimistic new ownership will help restore some luster to the Washington football team.

“I think the relationship has run its course. And I think everybody needs to be excited about what’s to come for the Commanders, because it’s only gonna go up,” said Griffin.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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