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Robert Griffin III lobbies for Browns to sign him as their starting QB after losing Deshaun Watson for season

A former star quarterback is lobbying to be Deshaun Watson’s replacement in Cleveland. Robert Griffin III, a former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year winner, said he can help the Browns fulfill their Super Bowl aspirations if they sign him.ย 

Griffin gave three reasons why the Browns should acquire his services. The team is recently slated to go with rookieย Dorian Thompson-Robinsonย under center with Watson done for the year after suffering a serious shoulder injury during last Sunday’s win over the Ravens.ย 

“The Browns should start me as quarterback,” Griffin recently said on his podcast. “One, at 33 years old, I understand the game better than I ever have in my entire career. I know how to slide, and I know when to slide. That was a huge issue in my eight years in the NFL. But I’ve learned. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m ready to showcase that I can get it done.”

Griffin then alluded to Watson’s performance during the second half of last week’s come-from-behind win in Baltimore, saying he could do what Watson did while completing each of his 14 pass attempts (with a fractured shoulder) after halftime.

“Of those 14 passes, there weren’t really any of them that you would say were $230 million worthy passes,” Griffin said. “All they needed him to do was manage the game because them dogs they got over there on defense, starting with Myles Garrett.ย 

“Well, guess what? I can do that! I can go out there and manage a game for the Cleveland Browns and help them go on a Super Bowl run that they want to go on.”

Griffin said he still possesses his world-class athleticism, adding he can still run a 4.3-second 40-yard-dash and can throw the ball 80 yards.ย 

“I train every week like an NFL football player so I can be ready for moments for just like this. So they need to hit my line.”

While he thinks he can be the Browns’ starting quarterback, Griffin would also lend his services as a backup for Thompson-Robinson, who will make his first regular-season start Sunday against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.ย 

“I learned six offenses in eight years in the NFL. … Learning a new offense has never been a ย problem for me,” Griffin said. “I can help DTR with his decision-making, when to make certain plays and truly to understand what he has to do as a quarterback with a defense like that on the other side of the football.”ย 

Griffin is currently aย college footballย andย NFLย analyst for ESPN. He hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since 2020 when he served asย Lamar Jackson’sย backup in Baltimore.ย 

It hasn’t been that long since Griffin received an inquiry from an NFL team regarding his possible interest in joining them. In fact, Griffin recently said that NFL teams reached out to him just before the start of the 2023 regular season.ย 

The former Pro Bowl quarterback said at the time that he wants to continue playing, but only if the right opportunity presents itself.ย 

“This offseason,” Griffin said on “The Dan Patrick Show” when asked about the last time he was contacted by an NFL team. “Probably August, mid-August.”ย 

“I can’t tell you who that was out of respect for the teams,” Griffin continued, “but the bottom line is, for me, I want to play still. I’m enjoying what I’m enjoying in the media … but, if the right opportunity came along, I would certainly entertain it (and) make the right decision.”

Griffin is likely seen in NFL circles as a valued backup who could play in a pinch. During his final two seasons in Baltimore, Griffin started two games (both against the Steelers) and went 1-1 in those starts. He played well enough in the second outing to help the Ravens nearly upset the then-undefeated Steelers in a game that was played on a Wednesday afternoon during the COVID-plagued 2020 season.

Griffin was, for a brief period, one of the NFL’s most exciting young players. He enjoyed one of the most memorable rookie campaigns in NFL history that played an integral role in Washington’s unexpected NFC East title. Injuries during the end of his rookie season, however (especially one suffered during Washington’s loss to Seattle in that year’s wild-card round), limited his effectiveness moving forward, especially as a running threat. Washington’s team also imploded after the 2012 season, which ultimately led to Griffin leaving town after the 2014 season.ย 

Griffin spent the next three seasons in Cleveland (mostly as a backup) before spending his three most recent NFL campaigns in Baltimore. In all, Griffin has logged 43 NFL starts and has thrown 45 touchdowns against 30 interceptions with a career completion percentage of 63%. Griffin also has 10 rushing touchdowns and a 5.9 yards per carry average.ย 

It’ll be interesting to see if the Browns (or anyone else) reach out to Griffin this season, as several teams have already suffered season-ending losses at the position.ย 

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Author: Bryan DeArdo
November 16, 2023 | 9:30 pm

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