Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan, who believes in sticking with young, talented quarterbacks, today announced the team will exercise Robert Griffin III's fifth-year option.
Before laying out his draft philosophy one more time before the picks start trickling in Thursday night, Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan on Monday opened up his pre-draft press conference by announcing that the team will be exercising quarterback Robert Griffin III's fifth-year contract option.
This option -- which will become official on Monday, McCloughan said -- is for the 2016 season.
"That took place this morning," McClougan told the media about the decision. "We talked to Robert, we talked to the agent. They're very positive. There's a positive feeling in the building right now. So with that said, we'll rock-and-roll."
Griffin III came to the Redskins in 2012 with an unprecedented amount of attention alongside Stanford's Andrew Luck.
The two were widely regarded as the two best quarterback prospects in years, with Griffin III fresh off of a Heisman Trophy-winning season in which he threw for more than 4,250 yards and 37 touchdowns while also logging 699 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
The Redskins moved up from the No. 6 pick in that year's draft to acquire Griffin III before the Baylor product help lead the team to its first NFC East title since 1999.
He also won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors as he threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns, along with an NFL rookie quarterback record 815 yards on the ground.
But since his dazzling rookie season, Griffin III -- mainly due to injuries -- has been in and out of the starting lineup.
Still, McCloughan strongly believes Griffin III can return to the form that he displayed early in his career.
"This full offseason, his second year in the system, but being healthy, being able to go through the offseason," McCloughan said, "...I'm looking really excited about moving forward with all three quarterbacks, just watching them as Phase 2 goes on. I can start watching them move around and watch them make plays."
McCloughan also reiterated that it's important to stick with young quarterbacks – both through good times and bad.
"The thing I like with Kirk [Cousins], with Colt [McCoy] and with Robert is that they're young quarterbacks," he said. "You've got to understand that. Everyone thinks, 'Well they're in the NFL, going into their fourth season.' They're still young and in the second year of the new system that they're in. …This is my first offseason to see them, and like I said, he's [Griffin III] a young quarterback that's had success in college. He's had some success in the NFL and you can't give up on those guys too early.
McCloughan also explained that picking up Griffin III's fifth year does not impact the team's draft board. If reigning Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota is available at No. 5 and the Redskins have him graded as their top prospect, then they won't think twice about picking him.
"It does not affect our draft process whatsoever," McCloughan said. "Like I said, if we get to the fifth pick and the best player available is a quarterback, we're going to take a quarterback."
McCloughan said the team is also yet to receive any "official" trade offers for Cousins.
"We'll always take phone calls for any of our players and listen to — and if it's a win-win for the organization, we'll definitely consider it — but we're not trying to force the hand on anybody right now."