Recently, the Cleveland Browns signed former Heisman Trophy winner and 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III to a two-year deal worth $15 million, with $6.75 million guaranteed.
Enjoying tremendous success in his first year, RG3's play fell off considerably between 2013-2015. Following his Pro Bowl selection and playoff appearance, injuries and questioning of his character plagued the quarterback's career. This led to multiple trips to the bench in favor of QBs Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, followed by his eventual release from the team.
Despite RG3's lack of recent success and injury history, I believe the Browns made the right move signing a veteran quarterback, allowing them to spend their draft picks on other positions.
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According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Browns have started 24 different quarterbacks since returning to the NFL in 1999, resulting in one playoff appearance, constant turnover on the roster and front office,a lot of suffering for their fans, and one regularly adjusted jersey.
With the infamous recent failures of Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel among others, there is a lot of pressure for new head coach Hue Jackson to finally find the franchise guy.
Many previously speculated that RG3 would be the signal caller for Washington for years to come, but, if things fall into place, he could now can bring success to the Browns.
Griffin still has his critics, however:
Calling into ESPN 850 WKNR recently, Cleveland Browns analyst Tony Grossi criticized the signing, saying that he doesn't see Hue Jackson's vision with the move, insisting Griffin is as a bridge QB rather than the final answer.
North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz's successful Pro Day - which senior NFL analyst GIl Brandt described as one of the best he ever witnessed - calls into question whether the Browns, with their dubious track record, signed the right QB considering their number two draft pick.
While quarterback is the most glaring hole in the Browns roster, it is certainly not the only one.
The Browns recently lost center Alex Mack, safety Tashaun Gipson, receiver Travis Benjamin, and tackle Mitchel Schwartz. This resulted in a barren roster "highlighted" by a regressing Joe Thomas, injury prone regressing Joe Haden, suspended receiver Josh Gordon, and one year wonder tight end Gary Barnidge as the only semblances of star talent.
By signing RG3, the Browns can now build through the draft, possibly using their number two overall pick on an interior player rather than quarterback.
ESPN's Mel Kiper, for instance, ranks defensive end Joey Bosa, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, defensive end DeForest Buckner, and offensive tackle Ronnie Staley as better prospects than Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.
Signing a veteran QB rather than drafting one in the first round allows the Browns to use their pick on elite talent to restore their offensive line or improve a defense that ranked 27th in yards allowed and 29 in points allowed in 2015.
As a team that has wasted first round picks on bad NFL quarterbacks and poor talent, the Browns cannot afford risk when it comes to draft selections.
Carson Wentz or Jared Goff could become an NFL all pro, but with a lack of talent elsewhere on the roster, they could just as easily fail to live up to expectations.
Griffin may just be a bridge quarterback as Tony Grossi argues, but he could revert back to 2012 form, when he compared well to Andrew Luck, won rookie of the year, and led Washington to the playoffs.
RG3 succeeded in the NFL prior to his injuries, and at one point was deemed valuable enough for Washington to give up 3 first round picks to select him.
All in all, I believe the ex-Redskin QB possesses NFL talent and can revert back to 2012 form, providing stability and allowing the Browns to fix other flaws in the roster.
And even if he fails, the Browns can quickly cut his cheap short term deal, and with successful drafting over the next two years, have a better foundation for the next quarterback