- John Keim, ESPN Washington Redskins reporter
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Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan announced Monday they'll pick up the fifth-year option for quarterback Robert Griffin III. That doesn't mean he won't end up drafting another quarterback in the first round Thursday night.
McCloughan said they will pick up the fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, giving the Redskins control of Griffin through 2016. His cap hit that season would be $16.155 million.
"It does not affect our draft process whatsoever," McCloughan said. "Like I said, if we get to the fifth pick and the best player is a quarterback, we're taking the quarterback."
Griffin has struggled the past two seasons for a variety of reasons -- injuries, inadequate pass protection and his own poor play. The organization has been split on his future possibilities. But McCloughan said the decision was made "a while ago" to pick up his option.
However, they're also waiting until Monday to make it official. That way, if they did end up with Winston or Mariota, they could still trade Griffin to another team -- and let them make the decision on his fifth-year option. That could be an unlikely scenario, but it'll exist until the Redskins make their pick.
That could just be a general manager saying what he needs to in order to keep alive a smokescreen, hoping to convince someone to trade up for Mariota -- and thereby pushing another player to the Redskins. Or it could be as simple as this: They just want to keep Griffin around.
As for the other quarterbacks, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, McCloughan said he has not received any official trade offers. Last year, Cleveland offered a fourth-round pick for Cousins. McCloughan said he's not inclined to trade any.
"The thing I like about Kirk, and the same with Colt and with Robert is they're young quarterbacks," McCloughan said. "You've got to understand that. I know everybody thinks, 'Well they're in the NFL, going into their fourth season.' They're still young, especially in the second year of this new system that they're in.
"We'll always take phone calls for any of our players and listen to it, and if it's a win-win for the organization, then we'll definitely consider it. But we're not trying to force the hand on anybody right now. This is my first season and first offseason to see them, and like I said, [Griffin is] a young quarterback. He's had success in college. He's had some success in the NFL, and you can't give up on those guys too early."
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan said they'll pick up the fifth-year option for RGIII. But that doesn't mean he won't draft another QB on Thursday.