The gridiron isn't the only place where Robert Griffin III is struggling.
The Washington quarterback, who led the Redskins to a division title in 2012 and won the NFL's Rookie of the Year award, is returning from knee surgery and cannot seem to regain his form. Through 12 games this year, Griffin's quarterback rating has taken a serious hit (down to 83.3 from last year's 102.4). His completion percentage is also down and he has thrown twice as many interceptions this year as he did as a rookie.
Thanks in large part to that success, Griffin's jersey was the top seller in the NFL last year. In fact, more Redskins No. 10 jerseys sold last fiscal year than any other jersey in league history.
If sales at FedEx Field are any indication, that likely won't be the case again this year.
In a New York Times story about Griffin's struggles, Juliet Macur spoke with a vendor at the Redskins' stadium. The vendor, Antonio Smith Jr., told Macur that he's noticed a theme when young children ask their parents for a Griffin jersey.
"Ooh, a lot of people are backing off from RG3 right now, a whole lot of people,” Smith said before Sunday’s game against the Giants. He said sales of Griffin's $100 jersey had fallen by half in recent weeks, and he described how several young fans on Sunday came up to him with their parents and asked for a Griffin jersey, only to have Mom or Dad steer them to another choice.
“Nah, you don’t want that guy's jersey,” he said, quoting a typical exchange. “He’s not playing too well, and who knows if he’ll play well again?"
This is only one vendor, and it may not reflect national or even regional trends, but it does make sense that parents who are looking toward the future are concerned about Griffin. This is the second major knee injury he's had. He tore his ACL in the third game of the 2009 season at Baylor.
More troubling are reports of feuds between Griffin and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and an increasing chorus of doubters calling for Griffin's benching in favor of backup quarterback Kirk Cousins.
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