Robert Griffin III was hoping to get another chance last year in Washington DC with the Redskins. He felt that he was healthy and ready to go, but he just never got the opportunity. The Redskins decided to start Kirk Cousins and they named him the starter for the season. That essentially spelled the end for Robert Griffin III in DC. Cousins never relinquished the job and Griffin III never was active all season long.
And this offseason, the Redskins decided to move on from Griffin III and to keep dealing with Cousins. The memories of RGIII taking the Redskins to the playoffs his rookie season seem so far away at this time. RGIII is now a quarterback trying to find himself again after being released by the Redskins this offseason. The question was not whether he would get a chance to restart his career but where would it happen. Well, now we know our answer as RGII has now been signed by the Cleveland Browns. The team and the former rookie sensation agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with Cleveland with $6.75 million in guaranteed money. It is expected that RGIII will be the starter in Cleveland next season regardless of what they do in the draft. For RGIII this may signal another chance to make things right, but he may have picked the wrong place to do so.
The offense in Cleveland has not necessarily been the most visually appealing. In fact, it has been downright putrid. With RGIII now in place, at least they have a playmaker at quarterback, albeit one that is trying to find his way again. But other than that, what do they have offensively? Talented wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is a former teammate of Robert Griffin III in college, is still awaiting the decision from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on whether he will be playing this season after his year-long suspension. If he is approved to play by the commissioner, then that will provide one playmaker in the passing game for the Browns. With the skills that Gordon has, he would definitely be the most talented receiver that RGIII has worked with in his entire career to date. But there are no guarantees that Gordon will get reinstated by Goodell at all and that has to scare Browns fans. Without Gordon, the Cleveland offense as it stands has no playmakers at the skill positions except for tight end Gary Barnidge. Their other playmaker from last season, Travis Benjamin, left for the West Coast and the San Diego Chargers. This offensive team, as it currently stands, is not exactly the best looking for someone trying to revive his career. In the draft, the Browns definitely need to be looking for a few players to make it happen for them in the passing game.
But other than the playmakers, the Cleveland offensive line is an issue as well. Last season, the Browns had veteran offensive tackle Joe Thomas, veteran center Alex Mack and young offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. Even with that line they had some issues, but these three were the best they had. Fast forward to now and two of the three have left the team via free agency. Mack landed a new deal with the Atlanta Falcons and Schwartz left for Kansas City. You would think the Browns would have made some moves to replace these pieces. But they have not made not one move to replace the players they lost. RGIII had some issues with protection while he was in Washington. He took a ton of hits and that, along with his inability to get rid of the football and take off running, caused him some injuries. With him in now in Cleveland, he has a pretty bad offensive line. So instead of him being in a situation to revive his career, he will now be trying to survive at quarterback behind a line that probably will not be very good. Hopefully for RGIII they either draft some young guys to step in or have some of their holdovers step up. Because if neither of these situations happen, then RGIII is getting ready to make another visit to the injury report.
It is good that RGIII is getting another chance to play. But the bad thing for him is that he will be playing for an offense that does not appear to have what he needs to be successful. Hue Jackson and his coaching staff may come out and prove us all wrong. But as Cleveland’s offense stands currently, RGIII may be entering a no-win situation. And unfortunately for him, he could be the next quarterback in the long list of unsuccessful quarterbacks in Cleveland.
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former cohost of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on SPORTSAWAKENING.COM. Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.