Former Washington quarterback RGIII is touting a 'tell-all' book about the franchise. Dan Snyder should be worried.

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·NFL columnist
·3 min read
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  • Daniel Snyder
    Owner of the Washington Football Team
  • Robert Griffin III
    Robert Griffin III
    American football quarterback

Nine years ago, Robert Griffin III was supposed to be the bedrock beneath Dan Snyder and the NFL’s Washington franchise. Now the former Offensive Rookie of the Year is shaping up to be the latest trapdoor to open under Snyder’s feet.

At least that appeared to be what RGIII was promising Tuesday, when he announced a forthcoming book in the summer of 2022.

As Griffin framed it in an announcement on social media:

“I’m so excited to announce that I wrote a book and it’s coming out in August 2022, titled ‘Surviving Washington.’ Now every experience I’ve ever had has made me a better husband, a better father and a better player. But I want you to take this journey with me, as I walk you through one of the most dysfunctional franchises in all of sports. I’m going to tell you the truth about what happened in that playoff game in 2012 against Seattle. I’m going to detail the medical mismanagement that I received during my time in Washington. I’m going to open your eyes to the sexual harassment that permeated the walls of that building and give you a deep dive into a power struggle between one of the most powerful coaches in all of sports and an owner that many of you want gone.”

Dan Snyder, left, shakes hand with Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10), center, during warm-ups, as team president Bruce Allen looks on before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington TX, January 3, 2016. (Photo by John McDonnell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Dan Snyder probably won't be shaking hands with Robert Griffin III once the ex-quarterback's book comes out. (Photo by John McDonnell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Frankly, Griffin hasn’t added a great deal to the NFL’s orbit since his breakout 2012 season as a rookie, a year that ended with him re-injuring ligaments in his knee (and arguably altering his career forever) during that aforementioned playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. But there’s no question that he had a front-row seat during a very turbulent and very relevant time in Snyder’s ownership. There was a power struggle between head coach Mike Shanahan and Snyder, as well as persistent drama inside a locker room that was often divided between loyalties to Griffin and former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins.

It is within reason to believe that Griffin is going to have significant dirt to throw around. And plenty of it is going to land on Snyder and other notable names who were in power during his four years in Washington from 2012 through 2015. Lest anyone forget who else was inside the team at that time, it was a leading cast of prominent names that went far beyond Mike Shanahan. The list includes: current head coaches Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers), Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers) and Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams), as well as defensive coordinators Raheem Morris (Rams) and Joe Barry (Packers) and offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel (49ers).

Griffin also overlapped with executive Bruce Allen, whose emails with Jon Gruden sparked a lawsuit from the former Las Vegas Raiders coach against the NFL, and former Washington general manager Scot McCloughan, whose tenure ended very badly with the franchise. As four-year eras go, it’s fair to say Griffin saw an extremely messy snapshot in one of the most controversially managed teams in league history.

That’s bound to sell books, particularly if Griffin delivers what his publisher is touting as being “explosive.” From the publisher:

"A one-of-a-kind, explosive tell-all from former franchise savior, Robert Griffin III, detailing the shocking mismanagement and toxic culture within the most dysfunctional professional football team in America. … [I]n this eye-opening and moving memoir, Griffin shines a light on that infamous playoff game, along with the toxic environment he witnessed with medical mismanagement and sexual harassment in the most dysfunctional organization in sports today, overseen by Daniel Snyder.”

If you’ve got your scorecard, that’s a publisher aiming for a bingo with some words that have been swirling around the team of late. From the “toxic environment” and “sexual harassment” angles that appear to lean into the most recent investigation of the team, to the “medical mismanagement” which has been long debated when it comes to how the team handled Griffin’s knee injury, the “dysfunctional organization” tag that has come to define Dan Snyder’s reign.

There’s no telling what Griffin can bring into the light, but he was one of Snyder’s favorites at one point in his career, so there’s no denying the access he had inside the franchise. At the very least, his promise of full disclosure should be enough to make some people nervous.

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