The Cleveland Browns have signed former Washington Redskins quarterback and No. 2 overall pick, Robert Griffin III to a two-year, $15 million deal according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Griffin heads to Cleveland after a pretty sad ending to his time in Washington, where he was surpassed by Kirk Cousins on the team’s depth chart after a series of knee, ankle, and rib injuries as well as a concussion. Griffin was active for just one of the Redskins games in 2016, where he served as the third-string quarterback. There was also clearly some type of tension between Griffin and head coach Jay Gruden, who ultimately made the decision to bench the 2010 Heisman-winner in favor of Kirk Cousins. The Redskins released Griffin on March 7th to avoid having to pay him his 2016 option of $16,155,000, which would have become guaranteed on March 9th (start of the new league year).
Before signing with Cleveland, it was rumored that the New York Jets and Denver Broncos were also highly interested in signing Griffin. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets have broken off contract talks, and Brock Osweiler chose to go play in Houston over staying in Denver, so both the Broncos and Jets still have a major holes to fill on their offenses (unless you count Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith as legitimate NFL quarterbacks).
Maybe heading to Cleveland was the best thing that could have happened for Robert Griffin III as the expectations are incredibly low compared to those in Washington. Right now, RG3 has a very good shot at being the Browns starter for, at least, the next two seasons even if the Browns decide to take a quarterback in this year’s draft. The development process of an NFL quarterback is something that takes time, and while the 26-year-old Griffin certainly has parts of his game that he needs to work on in order to be successful in the pros, he is more NFL-ready than any first-year quarterback entering the league (Paxton Lynch, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz).
Griffin and the Browns are slated to travel to Washington in 2016 to face the Redskins, and if RG3 can solidify the starting quarterback role, this game will be must-watch television with the former Heisman-winner returning to face his old team.
Whether or not RG3 pans out as the future starter for Cleveland, this was a major upgrade for this team compared to what they had. Johnny Manziel was a complete disaster on and off the field, and because of that, he is no longer a member of the Cleveland Browns. The signing of Robert Griffin III may seem like a bit of a risk, but when you are the Cleveland Browns what do you really have to lose?