Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Mike Shanahan: I didn’t think trading up for RG3 was very smart

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III


Former Washington coach Mike Shanahan now says he never wanted to trade up for Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL draft -- an easy claim to make now, and one Shanahan was slow to make publicly.

In an interview with, Shanahan says that after the 2012 draft, owner Dan Snyder called the team’s minority owners together to celebrate, but that Shanahan himself wasn’t in a celebratory mood because he thought the team had just mortgaged its future for a quarterback who wasn’t up to the task.

“Dan knew I wasn’t very happy about what we did, but he wanted everybody to celebrate how smart we were, so we jumped on his plane and met the other owners on his yacht,” Shanahan said. “Everyone was celebrating. I just didn’t think it was very smart to give up that much for a guy who we didn’t even know if he could drop back and throw. When I finally sat down with Dan, I said, ‘Hey, you own the team. We can work with him and do some things. But we haven’t seen anything on tape that warrants giving [up] this type of compensation.’ To me, it was absolutely crazy.”

Of course, that’s easy to say now that Griffin has washed out after four years in Washington. Shanahan certainly wasn’t saying that after Griffin’s breakout rookie year. The Washington Post collected a dozen times in 2012 and 2013 that Shanahan said the trade was a great move for the future of the franchise.

While Shanahan seems interested in rewriting history about Griffin’s up-and-down tenure in Washington, Griffin says he’s moving on. That might be a wise approach for Shanahan, too.