The Washington Redskins are expected to part ways with quarterback Robert Griffin III in the coming days.
This has been anticipated since mid-October so it's not surprising. The fall of the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year has been well-documented by the media that has hounded him throughout his tenure in the US capital.
Griffin was benched for the majority of the 2015 season as a means of protecting him from injury, which could have made it more difficult to release him. That, combined with the emergence of Kirk Cousins as a capable quarterback, may have signalled the end of his tenure in Washington.
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So much for the guy who was, perhaps ill-advisedly, proclaimed by Skip Bayless to be even better than Andrew Luck.
With the expiration date of 2015 contracts fast approaching (March 9th), one can only wonder where RGIII lands after departing Washington. Let's take a look at his most likely destinations...
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1. DENVER BRONCOS
The reigning Super Bowl champions relied on the horsepower of their exceptional defense to ride them to victory last month, but must be aware that failure to address their glaring need at quarterback is likely to result in a poor attempt at a successful title defense.
Legendary Colt-turned-Bronco Peyton Manning is well beyond his peak and may be on the verge of retirement.
Meanwhile, backup quarterback Brock Osweiler is an impending free agent who is likely to demand a sizeable contract for his commendable performances in relief of Manning. The Broncos may have to pony up (yuk yuk) if they wish to retain him.
Griffin would be a perfect fit for various reasons. For starters, he is likely to demand a more modest contract than Osweiler due to his lack of playing time and injury history.
Secondly, his physical traits may be very well employed by head coach Gary Kubiak. Griffin may not be as tall as the 6'8 Osweiler, but he possesses the speed and agility that are required to excel under Kubiak's system.
Additionally, Kubiak's emphasis on establishing the run will take the pressure off Griffin, thereby limiting his exposure to getting hit as well as to making mistakes. This could lead to the inclusion of zone reads and read-option plays which he excited so well in his rookie season.
If Griffin still needs convincing, he merely has to look at how Manning, albeit having the worst statistical year of his professional career and being a liability to his team, won his second Lombardi by limiting his mistakes in the playoffs and letting the defense and running backs do the heavy lifting.
Griffin will have the luxury of playing with one of the best defenses in NFL history, as well as with a pair of excellent receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.
If the Broncos decide to pay Osweiler, that shouldn't be a hindrance because I doubt Griffin is ready to be a starter in the NFL. Competition will do him a world of good and would simultaneously help Osweiler. This move is a win for everyone.
2. HOUSTON TEXANS
They say home is where the heart is...
Well Griffin may be holding on to that if he returns to good ol' Texas where he had a great college career at Baylor which culminated in his winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy.
Not only would it be a sweet reunion with familiar surroundings, it would be an almost perfect one. Houston is in dire need of a quarterback and just lost an offensive leader in Arian Foster who was released on Thursday.
By moving to Houston, Griffin would walk right into a playoff team that is a decent quarterback away from making a significant playoff impact. The Texans had one of the best defenses in the league at the tail end of last season, with JJ Watt collecting his third Defensive Player of the Year award, and have a very talented receiver in DeAndre Hopkins.
The Texans, similar to Denver, will rely on their defense to win games. All he will have to do is avoid costly errors.
The only problem with a move to Houston is that Griffin may face the same nemesis that effectively drove him out of Washington: the media.
A return of the Heisman winner would excite the entire state of Texas, and he may face immediate pressure to rediscover his college form and recreate the accomplishments of his rookie season.
While Houston may not be the league's biggest market, his return may result in a surge in media attention, and the fact that Super Bowl 51 will be played in the NRG Stadium will only add fuel to the fire.
But if there is one thing we learned from the way he was humiliated in Washington, it was that he handled the attention with grace and humility, and that speaks volumes.
He should be able to deal with the media in Houston insofar as he shows he can handle the lofty expectations that are likely to be placed on him.
Houston, problem solved.
3. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Yes, I know, Cleveland is perhaps the most undesirable place for just about any quarterback looking for a new home.
Since the last days of Bernie Kosar, the Browns have been searching for a quarterback to be their saviour, starting 24 different quarterbacks since 1999, but every one of them has failed to deliver, as the team had only two winning seasons in that time period.
They had hoped that Johnny Manziel could finally be the answer but we know how that went.
However, the appointment of Hue Jackson is huge for the future of the franchise. Jackson is primarily responsible for converting Andy Dalton from the league-wide laughing stock to a legitimate MVP candidate, and who is to say he cannot do the same with Griffin? They call him the QB Whisperer after all.
Jackson values hard work, determination, attitude and responsibility, characteristics which can be attributed to Griffin, and if Griffin is willing to start anew and develop, who better to guide him than Jackson?
While Griffin will no doubt prefer to play for a contender, perhaps it would be in his best interests to start from the bottom and rebuild his career in order to re-establish himself as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Browns fans, almost notoriously, have very low expectations of their team and so too does the rest of the league. The lack of immediate pressure to deliver may be exactly what Griffin needs to restore his confidence.
However, the likelihood of this materialising may be impeded by the well-founded concerns that the arrival of Griffin would invite the media firestorm that the Browns are trying to eliminate by releasing Manziel. Perhaps a union of Griffin and the Browns may be detrimental to both.
Other potential landing spots include the Los Angeles Rams, who are desperate for quarterback help and may need a popular face at the position to help them break into the LA market, as well as the Dallas Cowboys, who desperately need a viable backup to the often-injured Romo.
However, I think moving to either team would be a mistake due to the media presence and the status of the teams.
Perhaps Griffin may end up on a team such as the Saints or Chargers to back up an ageing quarterback, or could be acquired by the 49ers to replace Kaepernick who may well be on his way out. Time will tell the fate of RGIII; we'll just have to wait and see.
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