The Cleveland Browns decided to roll the dice and take a gamble signing Robert Griffin III to a two year, $16 million contract. This move signifies that the front office is putting faith in their analytic plan as well as head coach Hue Jackson. Also, it gives Cleveland a young bridge quarterback to guide us into the future.
Now, the Browns will probably still draft a quarterback, but Griffin is here to help in whatever way possible. He has been professional by stating he will take a kid under his wing and be a mentor. However, we all know as much as he does that he wants to be the starter. This is a chance to resurrect his career and maybe even a franchise.
RGIII was once a glorified commodity, but has declined ever since his breakout rookie season. He earned Rookie of the Year honors as he led the Washington Redskins to an NFC East Title (10-6). Griffin suffered a torn right ACL and MCL in the playoffs. The promising quarterback was never the same after that.
As a rookie, he passed for 3,200 yards and adding another 815 yards rushing. The athlete threw for 20 touchdowns, ran for seven more and threw just five interceptions.
Griffin statistically had a respectable sophomore season passing for 3,203 yards, 16 touchdowns while throwing 12 interceptions in just 13 games.
However, a 3-10 record led to his benching. In 2014, RGIII played in just nine games and managed to rack up 33 sacks. His confidence was clearly shaken. His disappointing decline got him demoted to third string and didn’t play a single snap in 2015.
Coming to Cleveland gives the former Heisman winner a shot at redemption. This will be no easy task as he has more than enough on his plate. He isn’t comfortable in the pocket and must improve his footwork and mechanics. He is indecisive in the pocket and lacks awareness leading to sacks.
Despite the issues that RGIII needs to work out, this is a low risk high reward situation. The former Baylor star is athletic, talented and brings more upside than Josh McCown, 36. In his rookie campaign, he excelled at the zone read and running the bootleg. This allowed him to be effective outside the pocket.
Hue Jackson is known to work wonders with quarterbacks, so I have all the confidence that Hue will construct an effective game plan for Griffin. Another intriguing variable is the reinstatement of Josh Gordon. The wide receiver would be reunited with his college quarterback and this chemistry could be great for both parties.
I can’t tell you what the future may hold, but before RGIII can progress, he must wrap his head around the game and gain his confidence back.
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