Quarterback Robert Griffin III celebrated when the Washington Redskins fired coach Mike Shanahan, former teammate Santana Moss said Monday. However, Moss told a local radio station, Griffin's giddiness hurt him in the end.
Griffin denies having done so and, via Twitter on Tuesday, told Moss that "to openly lie about me is a betrayal."
No subtweeting needed— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 19, 2017
Santana Moss, I treat you like a brother & have always had your back. To openly lie about me is a betrayal.....
Moss, appearing on 106.7 The Fan, said the perception was that Griffin appeared happy over Shanahan's ouster after the 2013 season.
"When the whole thing went about, we hear that Mike Shanahan's not coming back the next year, then we hear the quarterback like, 'Hey. Mm-hmm,'" Moss told The Fan. "Like, basically saying that, 'Hey, you got me out of here not playing last year, the last few games, then that's what happens. You get fired.'"
By that point of their relationship, it was clear an issue existed between the Shanahans -- Mike and his son, then-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan -- and Griffin. It simmered beneath the surface after Griffin's rookie season, which ended with him tearing his ACL in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
But the extent of the problems weren't fully divulged until late in Griffin's second season, at which point it became clear that Mike Shanahan would not return for a fifth year. He was fired after a 3-13 mark in 2013 with one year left on his contract. He benched Griffin in favor of Kirk Cousins for the final three games.
"So 2014 comes, and Jay Gruden comes in, and he don't care," Moss told the station. "We see that now. He doesn't care. He don't care what he says about you, he doesn't care what he says at you.
"And he rips RG every chance he gets, like every meeting, and we're sitting there looking like, 'Yeah. You know what? You were just so happy that Mike and Kyle and them is gone, but now you're getting your behind ripped every day, because you're not playing the kind of football that we need to play for us to be successful.' So it comes back and bites you in your behind because now you see this guy is at home."
Griffin, via Twitter, said he has been "lied on a lot over the years."
Put in an impossible situation w/ a coach who never wanted me. Made players like Santana Moss a believer through hard work, film study...— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 19, 2017
Showing up early, leaving late, putting in the extra hours, staying after practice & getting extra work in. We won the division that year.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 19, 2017
After Shanahan was fired, reports trickled out that he was not firmly in favor of trading up to draft Griffin in 2012. Washington won the NFC East in Griffin's rookie year, and he was voted to the Pro Bowl.
Griffin also tweeted:
Next year coach wants out, says he wants out, says he never wanted me as his QB & I GET BLAMED? C'mon man. I have been the good soldier.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 19, 2017
Some so desperately want me to fit this negative narrative that has been pushed about me. But I don't fit it. Never have. Never will.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 19, 2017
There were various reports about Griffin's standing among teammates during his playing days. There was a faction that didn't care for him and some who did. Griffin was voted a team captain in Cleveland last season. The Browns released him in the offseason, and he remains unemployed.
Proved it in Cleveland. Voted Captain. Came back to play for my teammates just to help us win 1 game. With a broken shoulder. Stop the lies— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 19, 2017
"I feel that a lot of stuff goes into play when it comes to who gets fired and hired," Moss told The Fan. "It's all about numbers. But regardless of what went on when it came down to those decisions of why those guys was gone, it was almost like that was on him, that he took that to say, 'Well, hey. That's what happens when you mess with me.' And that's how we felt. We saw it live, in person, up in front."
Moss said his anger about this topic stems in part from his respect for Shanahan, who moved him to slot receiver to help extend his career.
"For me to share that with you," Moss said on the show, "it was bothering me, because I never forgot it. Because these are the one guys that believed in what I was doing and how I was doing things and said, 'Hey, this is what I'm going to do to take this off of you and allow you to be able to be here more, and longer, so you can be the player that I want you to be.' And then these guys are gone for doing nothing."
"I was always bitter about it because I saw it live," Moss added, "that these guys was gone because of one guy."