I’m not quite sure what to think about the Cleveland Browns move to sign Robert Griffin III to a 2 year deal. On one hand, there isn’t much of a downside, financially, since $6.75M guaranteed is not a ton of money in today’s NFL. On the other hand, it’s fairly incredible that the Browns want to sign a QB who won 25% of his starts over the last 3 seasons (5-15). Or is it?
This is the Browns we are talking about after all. Who knows, maybe Jimmy Haslem got a tip from another homeless guy telling him to sign Griffin? Perhaps, the baseball data guys running the Browns personnel department really liked his WAR rating?
The fact that the Browns signed him says quite a bit about how much interest there is for guy like RGIII around the league. What free agents want to play in Cleveland? I cannot think of too many. I’m guessing if you gave a free agent the choice of playing in Cleveland or North Korea, they might actually hesitate before making a choice. No one wants to play in the factory of sadness.
My guess is that RGIII ended up with the Browns due to the fact that they haven’t had a legitimate QB since acid wash jeans were still in style, giving him a decent opportunity to start in Week 1. And, in the event he fails, it’s just Cleveland, failure is expected anyway, and he just got $6.75M for failing.
Personally, RGIII might be a great guy, but his numbers say he is a below average QB. He also has had two torn ACLs in the past 5 years, and his QBR rating is hovering around 38 for the past three seasons. On top of that, since his rookie campaign he has thrown 20 TDs to 18 INTs, which makes Bubby Brister look respectable.
He is also never going to be the read-option QB that he was in his rookie campaign that helped lead them to the playoffs. His yards per game dropped precipitously over the 3 years he played because he refused to run the ball after he hurt his knee. In fact, things got so bad in Washington that he didn’t even dress for one game last season, despite being completely healthy. There were also rumors of him being an issue in the locker room. That’s just what the Browns need.
At the end of the day is this signing going to propel the Browns to an AFC North title? No. Nothing short of binging back an incredibly perm-haired, sober Bernie Kosar circa 1987 and cocaine-fueled Kevin Mack could do that.
The Browns still contend that they’re going to draft a QB with the #2 pick. Knowing the Browns O-line will likely be as porous as a wet paper bag and weapons such as Brian Hartline and Gary Barnidge to throw to, they won’t be starting him right away (whoever it is.)
Inevitably, it looks like RGIII will likely be 26th starting QB for the Browns since 1999, so add another piece of duct tape with the “Griffin III” to the back of that Tim Couch jersey, sit back, and get ready for another 2-14 season.
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