ASHBURN, Va. — No sense fooling around with a talent like Robert Griffin III. Barely a week after the draft, the Washington Redskins are already proclaiming the Heisman Trophy winner their No. 1 quarterback.
Saying that Griffin has the ability to do things no one else has done in the NFL, coach Mike Shanahan wrapped up a rookie minicamp Sunday by putting RGIII squarely atop the depth chart.
"He's the starter. Period," Shanahan said.
Shanahan said Griffin will begin working with the first-teamers when the veterans reconvene for offseason workouts later this month. Fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins and last year's starter Rex Grossman will share snaps to sort out the second- and third-string spots.
Shanahan said the Redskins didn't go through all the trouble to get Griffin — trading three first-round picks and a second-rounder to the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 overall spot — just to have him play backup. The coach said he made the decision even before the three-day minicamp.
"We're going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with," Shanahan said, "and we'll watch him grow and we'll do what we feel like he can do and what he does the best. ... One thing the NFL is not used to is a quarterback with his type of speed and his type of throwing ability, so I think we can do some things that people haven't done."
With his announcement, Shanahan managed something that's hard to do — overshadow Griffin himself. Sunday was the first chance for reporters to see Griffin practice in a Redskins uniform, an event that attracted some 60 members of the media to a 90-minute session consisting mostly of undrafted, unsigned players trying to earn a spot at training camp.
The Redskins also signed five college free agents, including wide receiver Brian Hernandez from Utah.
DOLPHINS GIVE WAKE $49M: The Miami Dolphins have extended linebacker Cameron Wake's contract through the 2016 season.
Wake made the Pro Bowl in 2010, when he had 14 sacks, and he had 8 1/2 sacks last year. He came to the Dolphins in 2009 from the Canadian Football League, where he was a two-time defensive player of the year.
Wake had one year and $650,000 left on his previous contract. ESPN reported the extension was worth $49 million, with $20 million guaranteed.
"It's kind of like taking things to another level, kind of like when I came down here from the CFL," Wake said Sunday. "It has been an amazing, amazing journey."
Wake has yet to play in the postseason but said he's optimistic about the direction of the Dolphins under new coach Joe Philbin.
FANS PAY TRIBUTE TO SEAU: Several hundred people have taken part in a paddle-out in front of Junior Seau's Southern California home to pay tribute to the former NFL linebacker.
The Los Angeles Times reported that participants at Sunday's seaside memorial included Seau's former teammate Drew Brees, who played quarterback for the San Diego Chargers when Seau was the star linebacker.
The 43-year-old Seau committed suicide Wednesday at his home in Oceanside.
Seau was an avid surfer who was often seen riding the waves in front of his home. Fans and well-wishers formed a circle across the water and held hands while a prayer was said for him.