Updated, 12:47 p.m.

Despite a 2014 campaign mired by injuries and poor performance, the Washington Redskins will pick up the fifth-year option on Robert Griffin III’s contract, general manager Scot McCloughan announced on Monday.

Team officials had until Sunday to make the move, which means they will retain Griffin’s rights in 2016.

The news comes as somewhat of a surprise considering the terms of the option require that the salary for next season is fully guaranteed for injury, and because of Griffin’s past durability issues and performance struggles.

However, McCloughan said he and team officials and coaches discussed all of the factors in play and decided that the right decision was to exercise the option, maintaining hope that Griffin can regain the form he displayed as a rookie.


Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

“He’s a good football player. He’s got the tape out there,” McCloughan said. “Everyone knows what he did in [2012] when he was offensive rookie of the year. This offseason will be his second in the system, being healthy, being able to go through the offseason, I’m really excited and really looking forward to all three quarterbacks and just watching as Phase 2 gets going, I get to start watching him move around and make plays.”

Multiple league insiders had speculated this offseason that Washington would opt not to pick up the option for a fifth season. However, a person familiar with the situation told The Post last week that Washington was expected to exercise the option immediately following the draft.

Griffin this season will enter the final year of the rookie contract that he signed when the team selected him second overall in 2012. He will earn a base salary of $3.27 million, plus the final installment of his rookie signing bonus (3.45 million). The fifth-year option calls for Griffin to earn salary of roughly $16.155 million in 2016.

[Griffin, comfortable in his own skin, eager to talk small and play big]

However, that salary is fully guaranteed only for injury. So, picking up the option carries a degree of risk given Griffin’s history. (The quarterback tore tendons in his right knee in 2012 and spent that offseason recovering from reconstructive surgery. And last season he missed six games after dislocating his right ankle in Week 2.)

If Griffin were to suffer a serious injury during this season and then have to endure an offseason of rehab, his contract for the 2016 season is guaranteed.

Exercising Griffin’s option wouldn’t preclude the team from negotiating toward a long-term contract if he plays well this season. However, if Griffin played poorly this season, Washington could reverse course next offseason and choose not to bring the quarterback back for a fifth season.

Griffin had an electrifying rookie season, breaking rushing and passing records for a rookie quarterback while also leading Washington to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. However, since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the playoff loss to Seattle, which ended that season, Griffin has failed to regain his dominant form.

He struggled in 2013 and also clashed with then-coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan while trying to make the transition from read-option quarterback to traditional pocket passer.

Griffin’s first season under Jay Gruden featured struggles both because of injury and the unfamiliarity with Gruden’s offense.

Griffin played in nine games, starting seven of them. After missing Weeks 3-8 with injury, he played three straight games before getting benched in favor of Colt McCoy. Griffin returned to action when McCoy suffered a season-ending neck injury, and started the final two games of the year, beating Philadelphia and losing to Dallas. For the season, Griffin completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 1,694 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions while being sacked 33 times and losing four fumbles.

Gruden emerged from the 2014 season predicting that the team would hold a competition for the starting quarterback job this season. But in February, the coach changed his stance, saying that Griffin would enter the offseason program and training camp as the starting quarterback, and that if he struggled, either McCoy or Kirk Cousins could replace him as the starter.

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