Memo to Browns: Sign RGIII

Posted: March 20, 2016 in Browns, Football
Tags: , , , ,

With news that Robert Griffin III (RGIII) was in Cleveland over the weekend, there should be a real possibility that the Browns brass would make an offer to the former No. 2 overall pick from the 2012 draft. The Browns failed in an attempt to trade up in that draft to take the Heisman Trophy winner and now have a chance to get him on their roster.

Make no mistake, RGIII can spin it. Often mistaken for a runner first, passer second, anyone who watched him play while at Baylor, knows he is a quarterback that just so happens to be able to tuck and run when the situation calls for it. Sure, he can run the zone read offense as he did when he was named the NFL rookie of the year in 2012, but that was due to the Redskins trying to take advantage of a skill set that most NFL defenses weren’t used to defending. That also is a recipe for disaster as quarterbacks shouldn’t be taking hits from defenders on nearly every play.

After winning the Heisman Trophy at Baylor of all places, scouts were salivating at RGIII’s skill set. There was some consideration (however brief) as to who would be the overall No. 1 pick, which would eventually (and rightfully so) go to Andrew Luck.

RGIII set a rookie record with a 102.4 quarterback rating, had a phenomenal 20-5 touchdown to interception ratio, and led the Redskins to their first playoff appearance since 2007. After spraining his knee late in the season, RGIII missed one game (against the Browns) before returning for the finale, but then suffered a torn ACL to the same weakened knee in an opening round playoff loss.

Things have gone downhill ever since.

In 2013, despite not playing a single down in the pre-season as he was still rehabbing, RGIII returned for the opener. He ended up throwing for more yards while completing over 60% of his passes on the season, but the Redskins struggled and he clearly wasn’t able to take advantage of his agility as he was less then a year removed from major knee surgery. He was deactivated for the final three games of the season with the reason being to avoid further injury.

RGIII was 100% entering the 2014 season, but suffered a dislocated left ankle in the second game of the season. After missing six games, he returned but was ineffective in three losses and was benched in favor of former Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, who was named the starter over an ineffective Kirk Cousins as Griffin rehabbed his ankle. RGIII returned after McCoy was injured for the final two games of the season, throwing for a season high 336 yards in the finale.

RGIII was in line to be the starter last year, but suffered a concussion in the second preseason game and was inactive the entire year.

A change of scenery is just what RGIII needs. We in Cleveland know about dysfunctional organizations and the Redskins are right up there with the Browns in terms of dysfunction. The Redskins are a team that is having discussions about building a moat around their stadium. I always thought moats were to keep people out, but hey, that’s the Redskins for you. Its not a crazy thought to think that Washington just didn’t know how to handle his personality. Again, the Redskins are far from a stable franchise, having won 10 or more games just once in the last 10 years (2012).

The quarterback position is a fragile one in the NFL. A guy can have all of the physical skills in the world, but it doesn’t matter one iota. Sure RGIII is a bit of a loner, but could it be because he was raised in a military family? I know first hand about that experience. It’s hard to become close with people when you are forced to move every two to three years. That said, he comes from a strong family, with high values, which is the total opposite of what the Browns have had in their locker room the last two seasons.

The Browns have hired EXTREMELY smart people to run their franchise, and I’d be willing to bet that they would do everything in their power to make sure a quarterback with franchise changing skills is comfortable. Also, it’s not as if the Browns would have to offer RGIII a huge contract. They could sign him to an incentive laden deal, where both parties win if he pans out.

By signing RGIII, the Browns then can turn their attention to drafting a player at No. 2 overall that can help them win games right away, as opposed to any of the quarterbacks that all pose major question marks as the whether or not they can even play in this league.

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