ASHBURN -- The first words uttered by coach Jay Gruden at his Monday press conference officially set the Washington Redskins on a new path.
"Yes, we do have news," Gruden said. "We have announced that Kirk Cousins will be the starter for 2015 moving forward."
The news isn't solely about who starts at quarterback, but who won't. For the first time since he joined the franchise in 2012, Robert Griffin III won't open the season as Washington's opening week starter.
Gruden made it clear. This wasn't about Griffin remaining in the NFL's concussion program, but rather performance from Cousins.
"After all the offseason activity, all of training camp footage, we feel like at this time Kirk Cousins gives us the best chance to win," Gruden stated. "That's where we're going.
“It's Kirk's team.”
It's also a team that for now Griffin remains a part of despite the benching. Whether he remains part of the roster by Week 1 is the question.
The primary issues are the potential distraction with a rock star QB on the bench and most of all, the $16 million contract for 2016 that becomes guaranteed due to injury.
Gruden said, "there's been no discussions about letting him go."
Perhaps the most interesting part of the entire situation involves Gruden, general manager Scot McCloughan and team owner Dan Snyder being on the same page witht the decision to sit Griffin.
"Mr. Snyder has been nothing but supportive of this football team and everything we're doing moving forward," Gruden said. "We kind of tell him what we're thinking, how we're feeling and he's all for it. All Mr. Snyder wants to do is win."