Robert Griffin III essentially took last year off from football as he was inactive for all 16 of the Redskins games in 2015. Now he’s healthy, fresh and is ready to begin his new career in Cleveland. There’s no way of knowing for sure how RGIII is now, but we know what he was just a few years ago, and that was a dynamic playmaker.
In his rookie season, he ran for 815 yards, and looked to be a future fantasy star. Then injuries cut his playing time down, and Kirk Cousins was a better fit for Jay Gruden’s offense, so Griffin took a backseat.
He’s not guaranteed to be the starting quarterback, but reports claim the Browns are all-in on having Griffin succeed. If he can recapture what he did as a rookie, then he certainly will.
Helping him will be rookie Corey Coleman and last year’s surprise at tight end, Gary Barnidge. Dynamic wideout Josh Gordon can also apply for reinstatement on August 1, which gives him the possibility of rejoining the Browns should he stay clean. Coleman, Barnidge, Gordon and even running back Duke Johnson could be enough to help Griffin excel during his first year with the Browns.
Reports from Cleveland’s early practices say Griffin looks terrible. Perhaps the year off has him a bit rusty. He needed to get out of Washington, but there’s no guarantee Cleveland is the best landing spot for him.
Even his potentially great weapons have question marks. Coleman is a rookie who may need some time adapting to the professional level. Barnidge is a one-year wonder and we haven’t seen him be good for multiple seasons. Even if Gordon is reinstated, there’s a chance the Browns will try and trade him. We don’t even know if Griffin is going to be the starter in Cleveland, as coach Hue Jackson won’t say for sure who will top the depth chart.
Griffin is an interesting player to pay attention to because we all know about his potential. But we haven’t seen him at that top level in years, and there’s not a lot of confidence in this Browns offense to make us fall in love with RGIII. There’s so much uncertainty surrounding Griffin.
There’s nothing on paper we can point to and say “this makes Griffin worth taking.” Everything about him is having faith that he’ll be able to overcome his injuries, thrive in Hue Jackson’s offense and hope Coleman can produce and Gordon gets reinstated. Unless something dramatic changes before the season, we have to view Griffin on the very low end of quarterback options this year.