Former Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss credits former Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan with prolonging his career by moving him to the slot in 2012, which is among the reasons Moss is still bothered by Robert Griffin III's reaction to Shanahan's ouster almost four years after the fact. During his weekly appearance with 106.7 the Fan's Chad Dukes on Monday, Moss claimed that Griffin, who was benched by Shanahan for the final three games of the 2013 season, gloated about and took credit for Shanahan's firing. Griffin denied Moss's claim in a tweet on Tuesday and called his former teammate's comments "a betrayal."
"Come 2013, all of [a sudden] it's a whole big dilemma in the locker room, in the meeting rooms, and just in our building, that, you know, the man, Mike Shanahan, and RG is not seeing eye to eye," Moss told Dukes of the fractured relationship between Shanahan and Griffin during the quarterback's second season. "You know, we don't know. We're players. We sit back and let things be done. That's not something that I partake in, so it's not nothing that I'm interested in. And before you know it, RG's not playing. … I'm not sure if that was [Griffin's] whole plan, but 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, mmhmm.' 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.' You can't do that. One thing I just shared with you, God don't like ugly. The little credit that [Griffin] did take for saying, 'They didn't like what I was doing' or 'They benched me and not allowing me to play,' that's what happens."
"No subtweeting needed," Griffin tweeted on Tuesday. "Santana Moss, I treat you like a brother and have always had your back. To openly lie about me is a betrayal … "
Griffin went on to tweet that he was "put in an impossible situation" with a coach in Shanahan who never wanted him.
Shanahan has talked openly about his dealings with Griffin in multiple interviews in the four years since his firing. In 2015, Shanahan confirmed reports that Griffin asked him to change his offense during a meeting after his rookie year, and said that Griffin mentioned specific plays that he would and wouldn't run. Griffin later described those reports as an "urban legend." Moss said Monday that Griffin, who was released by the Redskins in March 2016 and remains out of a job after being released by the Browns this past March, got what was coming to him after Shanahan was fired in December 2013.
"So, 2014 comes, and Jay Gruden comes in, and he don't care," Moss continued on Monday. "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 sooo happy that Mike and [offensive coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] 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. And, to be honest with you, I give it to you raw. I don't know no other way to give it to you — raw and uncut, I always say that. Sometimes I don't share a lot, with the fans and with you all, but people who know me, they know that I'm too truthful sometimes. But I was saying to myself that, as much as I love [Griffin] as a person, bro, and as much as I know from how you came into these doors, that was the dumbest mistake you could ever make in this league, because it's one of those brotherhoods."
"To gloat about getting somebody fired," Dukes clarified.
"Yeah, you can't do that," Moss said. "You can't do that. I don't want to ever see somebody … I mean, you see guys coming in and out of those doors — as players, as coaches, as members of the team, however, trainers, staff members, period — and you don't like to see them go, because you know that's taking something off their plate. So, I live by that. God don't like ugly, man, so try not to be in those shoes, to be the guy to reap off of someone's downfall."
"You can never gloat about somebody getting fired, because it can be your [butt] next," Dukes said later.
"That's the No. 1 wrong thing to do, and that's the only thing that ever bothered me as a player," Moss said. "It bothered me to this day because I said something about it. That goes to show how much it bothered me. For me to share that with you, it was bothering me, because I never forgot it. [The Shanahans] are the one guys who believed in what I was doing and how I was doing things to say, 'Hey, this is what I'm going to do, 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."
"So he got the guys fired that were going to help you extend your career," Dukes said of Shanahan's decision to move him to the slot.
"It wasn't even about me, but you know it's never been about me," Moss said. " … I just feel I was always bitter about it because I saw it live, that these guys were gone because of one guy. Who knows, a lot of stuff goes into play when it comes to who gets fired and all that stuff. 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, like, 'Hey, that's what happens when you mess with me.' That's how we felt. We saw it live and in person up in front."
Moss referenced Gruden's no-nonsense approach with Griffin while discussing Gruden's relationship with Josh Doctson during an interview with Dukes last week.
"One of the things about Gruden, he doesn't bite his tongue," Moss said then. "No matter who you are as a player, I saw when he first came in, we had RGIII. He was the one coach that attacked RGIII and we kind of looked up there like, 'Yes!' because we needed that. We needed [Griffin] to understand that he wasn't bigger than us. But Gruden is one of those coaches that you have to love because he's going to push you and test you to make you feel like, 'Hey, if I can't get on this field or if I can't be what this guy wants out of me, then I can't play this game for him.' "
Dukes also asked Moss about Griffin's public vs. private persona.
"You saw one thing and then you heard another," Moss said. "I might have thought that he treated everybody kindly from what I saw, but then you bump into too many people that say, 'Hey, I don't know. I don't know about that guy.' "
Listen to Moss's entire interview with Dukes here.