Sources: Redskins keeping Robert Griffin III as backup QB

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Washington Redskins plan to keep Robert Griffin III as their backup quarterback, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter and John Keim.

Although Kirk Cousins was named Washington's starting quarterback earlier this week, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and president Bruce Allen want to keep Griffin despite the financial risk associated with retaining the former Heisman Trophy winner, a source told ESPN.

Griffin, who has been sidelined since Aug. 20 with a concussion, was scheduled to consult with an independent neurologist Friday. The Redskins still are awaiting word on the results of that exam.

NFL Media and The Washington Post reported earlier Saturday that Griffin would remain on Washington's 53-man roster. Snyder, general manager Scot McCloughan and coach Jay Gruden all approved the decision to keep Griffin, according to NFL Media.

All NFL teams were required to reduce their rosters to 53 players Saturday, and there had been widespread speculation that the Redskins could part ways with Griffin before the 4 p.m. deadline.

Gruden announced this past Monday that Cousins would be the starter this season but downplayed speculation over Griffin's future with the team, saying "his future is with the Washington Redskins."

Team and league sources told ESPN last weekend that high-ranking Redskins officials wanted to part ways with Griffin but were meeting resistance from ownership.

Griffin will count $6.7 million on the salary cap, but it's a hit the Redskins can absorb; Washington entered the weekend with $12.5 million of space available. Should Griffin suffer an injury that extends into the 2016 season, his $16.1 million salary for next season is guaranteed.

The Redskins total cap hit at quarterback of $8.9 million is 36.27 percent below the league average, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The question for the Redskins now becomes whether Griffin becomes a high-priced distraction as a backup. Gruden acknowledged that possibility earlier in the week.

"Moving forward, when you're the starting quarterback, it's your job to keep that job," Gruden said of Cousins. "You can't let that outside noise influence you as a player. If there's an incompletion or interception, I'm sure there could be some chatter about putting Robert in. We're not worried about that."

ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim contributed to this report.

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