Why RG3 In Cleveland May Work…

As if it was a surprise to anyone, Robert Griffin III was not the answer for Jay Gruden and the Redskins (AKA the worst franchise in professional sports) as Kirk Cousins was named the starting quarterback for 2015 according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. 

RGIII has had a roller coaster of a career to say the least.  The former Heisman trophy winner was drafted second overall by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft.  The Redskins even gave up their first-round picks in 2012 (No. 6 overall), 2013 (No. 22 overall) and 2014 (No. 2 overall), as well as their second-round pick (No. 39 overall) in 2012.  He led the Redskins to the playoffs in his rookie season where he basically played on one leg. 

Griffin set records for highest passer rating by a rookie QB (102.4) and the highest touchdown/interception ratio (4:1).  Since his rookie campaign, things have taken a drastic turn.  His sophomore season wasn’t what Redskins fans hoped for.  With Griffin under center the ‘Skins went 3-10 and he was eventually replaced by Cousins. 

2014 proved to be another disastrous season for RGIII.  In week two he suffered a dislocated ankle and he didn’t return until later in the season where he was 2-5 as a starter in 2014, eventually replaced by Browns defect Colt McCoy. 

This preseason has not been kind to Griffin as he was used as a tackling dummy for the Detroit Lions and suffered a concussion.  The young Griffin has a coach who is ready to move on from him and an owner who refuses to move on from the guy who they gave up so much to get, as well as an offensive line that resembles Swiss cheese.

Many of you might be asking yourselves “what does this have to do with the Browns?”  The answer to that question is this.  If the Redskins called and said “We want a 5th round pick and you can have RGIII” would you do it?  I, for one, without hesitation would do it.  There are a few reasons why I would pull the trigger on this deal but I will stick to my top three from least important to most important.  Also, let me acknowledge that I know there are no reports about this actually happening, or anything of the sort, and this actually ever happening is extremely unlikely.  I also am speaking from a football standpoint not a financial one, where RGIII has a fully-guaranteed $16.1 million cap hit for 2016 if he is NOT healthy.

Fresh Start

One thing that the 25-year old Griffin clearly needs is a fresh start and maybe starting immediately isn’t something that would be beneficial to him.  How many guys needing career resurgence go from the lowly Redskins and lead a team to the Super Bowl the next season? In case you actually are thinking about looking it up, here is the answer to save you some time: none.

I am not calling for us to get RGIII to be the starter and lead us to the promised land.  Griffin is playing for a team in Washington where his head coach has basically tiptoed around questions regarding him, just so he doesn’t have to admit that he doesn’t want Griffin as his QB, only to please an owner who has absolutely no idea what is going on around him.  Sounds like a Midday soap opera to me and one that a quarterback who has led a team to the playoffs doesn’t need to be in to flourish.

Improving the position

We have a 36-year old career-journeyman in Josh McCown as our starter (which will probably lead to me ending my Sunday nights in the fetal position this fall).  Josh McCown reminds me of that guy who shows up at all the parties on campus and everyone looks at him and says: “I have seen him a million times, but I still don’t know or care who the hell he is.” 

We have a “new and improved” Jonathan Paul Manziel backing him up. 

I love Johnny Manziel and have supported and backed him since we drafted him, but he hasn’t exactly proven he can produce on the field.  As far as 3rd quarterbacks on a roster go, RGIII is Joe Montana compared to Thad Lewis or Connor Shaw. If someone can honestly say that McCown/Manziel/Lewis is better than McCown/Manziel/Griffin then I will immediately question whether you have actually seen a football game take place.  Remind me when Thad Lewis or even Johnny Manziel led his team to the playoffs while throwing for 3,200 yards and 20 TD’s while completing 66% of his passes and also running for 815 yards and seven scores.  I don’t want your Madden franchise moments to remind me because that’s the only time that would have happened.  Instead of having a system for Josh McCown and a system for Manziel we could go to having one system when it’s finally time to put Josh McCown out to pasture.

Lastly that brings me to the most important part of this argument, what do the Browns have that the Redskins don’t?

An Offensive Line!!!!

The Browns have an offensive line and one of the best in the league at that.  Here is what RGIII has in Washington. Projected Starters: LT Trent Williams, LG Shawn Lauvao, C Kory Lichtensteiger, RG Spencer Long, RT Brandon Scherff.  Shawn Lauvao, really??? Shawn Lauvao, the guy who made me sick just watching him try and block when he played for the Browns.

The Redskins allowed the second-most sacks of any team last season save the Jacksonville Jaguars who are being demoted to the Sun Belt conference.  The Browns have an experienced line whom has played together. 

Projected Starters: LT Joe Thomas, LG Joel Bitonio, C Alex Mack, RG John Greco, RT Mitchell Schwartz.  Joe Thomas, who is Canton-bound and has been to 8/8 Pro Bowls in his career, is better than any two lineman the ‘Skins have put together.  Alex Mack is arguably the best center in football.  Joel Bitonio was the 5th best guard based on lineman rankings by Pro Football Focus last season.  John Greco is a seasoned veteran at guard, and Mitchell Schwartz hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations but has been serviceable.  THE LEFT SIDE OF OUR LINE IS A STONEWALL. 

RGIII would actually have people protecting his blindside for once. 

People often knock RGIII for being “injury-prone” or that he “doesn’t slide.”  Well when you have to run for your life every single play, you don’t always get the chance to slide or get down and it leads to injury because after all – it is football.

As I said previously, I know this scenario is likely to never happen.  All I am saying is that if I am Ray Farmer, from a football standpoint, when it becomes week six at the deadline and if Josh McCown isn’t exactly working out, I would be calling the Redskins and asking about RGIII.

Ian Tumey

Follow me on the Twitter thing

@Ian_Tumey and @CST_IanT

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