Former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley provided his insight into the relationship, or lack thereof, between quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III on ESPN 980’s “The Drive with Cooley and Czabe” Monday afternoon.
“There was never a friendship relationship,” Cooley said after news of Griffin’s official release from the team had already hit the wires. “From the moment Kirk was drafted, I think Robert had animosity towards him.”
According to Cooley, much of that animosity was fueled not so much by Cousins himself but by the message the team sent in drafting another quarterback after taking Griffin in the first round. If that was the case, Griffin had a right to be confused at the very least. After all, why would the team draft another quarterback in the fourth round after how much they sacrificed in order to land Griffin in the first?
“A lot of people in this area ... hated that fourth-round pick,” Cooley said. “I don’t think anyone hated it as much as RG3 hated it.”
Griffin’s departure and Cousins' recent signing of the Redskins franchise tag says enough about how the two quarterbacks fared in Washington in their first four NFL seasons. One might think that after they both got their chances, any ill will towards Cousins that Griffin may have fostered would have dissipated. According to Cooley, that was not the case.
“Robert was never willing to be friends with Kirk Cousins. They never hung out together. They never spent time together. Their families didn’t hang out together … I don’t think Robert ever wanted it to be a great relationship. And I think it became really contentious over the last two years.”
Cooley cited his friend and former Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman as one source of intel on quarterbacks' relationship when Cooley was no longer with the team. He also said Colt McCoy “had to deal with some stuff.” Cooley asserted that Cousins was not to blame for any of the ongoing hard feelings, stating that “Kirk tries to be friends with everybody.” The source of Griffin’s malcontent, he suggested, was internal.
“I just think it plays into so much of how much Robert disliked anyone ever challenging what he was,” Cooley said. “And when people started to challenge that Kirk might be the guy, it became even worse. It became even more awkward.”
Cooley also stated that “there was enough working respect” between the two to keep a professional working environment. Still, he thinks quarterbacks meetings may have been less awkward if they had developed some sort of friendship.
Those familiar with Cooley’s antics won’t be surprised to learn that the 33-year-old, who tried to negotiate a case of beer into his contract, initially cracked the topic of the Cousins-RG3 relationship with a beer-drinking metaphor. Afterwards, he clarified that neither of the quarterbacks really drink, but that’s beside the point.
“I would drink a beer with Mike Shanahan today,” Cooley said. “I do not like him as a head coach. I like him as a dude. That said, I don’t think Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin are going to be drinking any beers together.”
Here's the segment link with the RG3-Cousins section starts around the 21:45 mark.
Dan Roth is a freelance sportswriter and Breaking Burgundy contributor. Follow Dan on Twitter @danrothdc.
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