The moment the owner Daniel Snyder signed off on trading those draft picks to the St. Louis Rams to get Griffin, those picks were gone forever. Poof! Never coming back.
From that point, the strictly logical approach would have been for coaches and management to treat Griffin like any other rookie who had great potential but a lot of work to do to live up to it. That doesn’t mean that they should have plopped him on the bench every time he made an errant throw. Of course he needed (and, apparently, still needs) to learn the pro-level game, and it’s worth sacrificing wins today if you are getting a more skilled player for the longer run. No one argues that the 1998 Indianapolis Colts should have parked Peyton Manning on the bench amid his 3-13 rookie season.
But there are plenty of indications that rather than treat Griffin like another promising but unfinished player, both fans and, at times, the team’s coaches seem to view him through the prism of what was paid to get him.