WASHINGTON — Former star quarterback Robert Griffin III is leaving the Redskins, the team announced Monday.
The Redskins released Robert Griffin III, four years after trading a bevy of draft picks to take the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback with the No. 2 overall choice.
The NFC East champions announced the move Monday. They had made clear it was coming.
The Redskins had until Wednesday to part ways with Griffin and prevent his 2016 contract for about $16 million from becoming guaranteed.
Griffin becomes a free agent and can sign anywhere. NFL free agency begins Wednesday.
His release was long expected after he was relegated to third string QB this past season and was inactive on game days. Kirk Cousins was named the starter before the season began and last week he signed a one-year deal with the team worth almost $20 million.
Ahead of the announcement, Griffin tweeted a goodbye to fans.
“It was a blessing guys. I just want to say thank you,” he tweeted.
He posted a longer message on his Instagram account thanking the fans for welcoming him in 2012 and to team owner Dan Snyder and the rest of the organization for “giving me an opportunity to play this beautiful game at the highest level here in Washington.”
“Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Although my time here is over, I’m excited about what the future brings!!!” he wrote.
It was a blessing guys. After 4 years, my days as a part of this team have come to an end. I just want to take the time to say thank you #SkinsNation. Thank you for welcoming my family with open arms in 2012. You guys made it truly an honor to play for you and I couldn’t imagine starting my career anywhere else. Thank you to Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, all the Skins coaches, training staff, equipment managers and everyone in the organization for giving me an opportunity to play this beautiful game at the highest level here in Washington. A special thanks to front desk extraordinaire B.J. Blanchard, who always has a smile on her face and is the plug for chocolate chips cookies. Thank you to my teammates for all the memories & relationships over the past 4 years. You guys have helped thru all the ups and downs over the years and have become a part of my family for life. I wish you all the best and you always have a brother to lean on. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Although my time here is over, I’m excited about what the future brings!!! I look forward to finding the team where God has me to be and growing with that team on the way to World Championships. God Bless #ThankYou
RGIII was a first-round draft pick but he proved ineffective for the Redskins. In 2012, he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, but his time in Washington was marked by many injuries and clashes with coaches Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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