When Robert Griffin III left the Redskins facility in January 2016, most knew that his time in Washington had run its course. It was locker cleanout day, and Griffin was looking to grab his stuff and get out in a hurry.
The former No. 2 overall pick declined to talk to the media, and he left behind only a note that preached forgiveness and virtuous attitudes.
"People are often unreasonable, irrational & self-centered," the opening line read. "Forgive them anyway."
It seems that, with time, Griffin has heeded his own advice. On an appearance on CBS Sports radio's "The Zach Gelb Show," Griffin said he doesn't harbor any ill will toward the Redskins franchise.
"I don't have any ill will on my heart towards D.C., towards any coaches or any ownership or [general managers], anything like that," Griffin said on the show Monday. "Do I wish things had gone differently? Obviously. Everybody did. But at the end of the day, that's the decision that they decided to make and you have to move on from that."
For as unceremonious as his exit from D.C. was, his arrival was anything but that.
Roger Goddell emerged onto the stage in 2012 and uttered the words that were supposed to reverse the course of the Redskins franchise.
"With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor," he announced.
Griffin posed with the commissioner and held a No. 1 team jersey while donning the hat of the franchise that traded a king's ransom of draft capital to acquire him. Fast forward to later that year and Griffin led the team on a thrilling seven-game winning streak to win the NFC East and host a playoff game.
"I had to prove to those guys in Washington that I was worthy of what they gave up and worthy of all the accolades that I came from college with. And I felt like I did that," Griffin said.
A torn ACL in the playoff loss to Seattle put a damper on Griffin's otherwise promising campaign, which culminated in Offensive Rookie of the Year recognition. Still, there was hope in D.C.
But Griffin never returned to his rookie form in year two, and he eventually clashed with then-head coach Mike Shanahan. The Redskins fired Shanahan in 2013 and sought another coach that could get Griffin back to the magic of that playoff run. But the team's selection, Jay Gruden, ultimately ended up favoring Kirk Cousins and took the franchise in that direction.
"Unfortunately, after 2012-2013, things just didn't go the way we'd like them to go," Griffin said. "But I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish in 2012 and the relationships that I built with teammates that I know have my back."
The Redskins officially cut Griffin in March 2016. Weeks later, the Cleveland Browns signed Griffin and eventually named him the starter. But his time in Cleveland was short-lived, and the former Heisman winner spent the majority of the year on injured reserve.
Following a second team releasing him in as many years, Griffin was out of the league in 2017. During that time, he had a chance to reflect on the tumultuous start to his professional career.
"I would say that year out of football is what really reset me — in 2017. Because I was at home, watching my daughter grow up, and I got to see things from a different perspective," Griffin said.
Griffin called his time in D.C. a learning experience that helped him become a better player. He's now the backup to Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, but the 30-year-old said he believes he can still earn a starting gig in the future.
"Looking back on it, I've taken those experiences that I learned in D.C. and used them to make me better as a player," Griffin said. "I know a lot of people expect me to be bitter, expect me to be over-the-top angry about it. And I've moved on."
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