Top 5 candidates to be Griffin’s next team

If Washington QB Robert Griffin III becomes available, which teams could be interested in adding him?

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/David Richard)

(AP Photo/David Richard)

Top 5 candidates to be Griffin’s next team

With Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden announcing Kirk Cousins as his Week 1 starter, there were headlines all over the place about what the team should do with Robert Griffin III. It’s quite the fall from grace for both quarterback and franchise, considering what Dan Snyder and company gave up to get the former Heisman Trophy winner with the No. 2 overall pick in 2012.

To be fair, Griffin hasn’t been given the support he has needed by the team that drafted him. But the drop-off in his play since his outstanding 2012 rookie campaign has been remarkable:

2012 grade: +31.6

2013 grade: -3.4

2014 grade: -17.2

However, the fact that he put up such an impressive performance means it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of RG III as an NFL QB, even if his next job is in a backup role. While his contract makes a trade highly unlikely, we’ve identified some teams that would be good fits for him if he were to become available (either if the Redskins cut him, or later down the line):

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have a franchise QB in Matt Ryan, but his backup situation consists of T.J. Yates, Sean Renfree and Rex Grossman. Atlanta OC Kyle Shanahan employs one of the most QB-friendly systems in the NFL, and RG III has familiarity with it already from their time together in Washington. Yates hasn’t given any reason for us to believe he is a viable backup, with a -5.2 PFF grade this preseason.

Baltimore Ravens: Another team with a franchise QB in place, Joe Flacco, the Ravens employ Matt Schaub as a backup. Schaub was a solid starter in 2012, but had a knack for throwing the ball to the other team – and his 2013 and 2014 seasons were borderline disastrous. With Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator, Griffin would do well to learn and develop under Flacco.

Cleveland Browns: A team that Griffin could actually start for this season, the Browns have a quarterback problem. With Josh McCown (-20.5 pass grade in 2014) as the starter and Johnny Manziel shut down for the rest of the preseason because of chronic elbow soreness (and playing very poorly in his limited rookie-year action), Cleveland doesn’t currently have a long-term answer at the position.

Philadelphia Eagles: Head coach Chip Kelly has made some unexpected moves this offseason, including at the QB position by trading Nick Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford, and Griffin bears some resemblance to Bradford in terms of his being a former Heisman winner with big-time physical talent who hasn’t yet realized his potential in the NFL (and Griffin’s rookie season is considerably better than anything Bradford has produced to date). Griffin also possesses a running element to his game, which was something of a staple of Kelly’s Oregon offenses. Not to mention, Kelly has taken chances on players with extensive injury histories like Griffin’s before (Bradford included). This is one to keep an eye on.

St. Louis Rams: This option would make the 2012 NFL draft, with Griffin going to the team that could have drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick before trading it to Washington. But it makes sense considering the unknown of Foles outside of Chip Kelly’s offense. With Case Keenum as a backup, the Rams are hoping Foles produces at his 2013 level and stays healthy. Foles has been hot (+2.1 versus Indianapolis) and cold (-2.8 versus Tennessee) this preseason, while Keenum hasn’t shown much against backups. This is another place where Griffin could potentially get a shot to start in the future.

| Analyst

John is an analyst for Pro Football Focus and former safety for the University of Kansas Jayhawks (2004–2006).

  • Sam Doohan

    Honestly I feel anywhere that would let Griffin sit for at least a year or two would be the best place for him to end up. Anywhere that he’s likely to end up playing this season would just be dreadful for him. He’s definitely got talent and he can definitely learn, but not if he’s constantly injured or stuck in a whirlwind of bad press.

    As for best landing sites I guess it depends if you’re hoping he turns into a straight pocket passer or stays as a running threat. For the first I think the Giants, the Chargers or (especially) the Steelers make the most sense; good surrounding talent with an established starter would give him a good environment to learn in, and if he does develop he can take over when Eli or Rivers or Ben retires. Not a bad idea.

    On the other side, how about Buffalo? Rex loves a running QB and if Tyrod Taylor is successful there then a backup with a similar skill set (even in Griffin never is the same runner) would be a natural fit, allowing for a much smoother transition in the even of an injury.

    I agree the Philly seems like a good choice right now because Kelly is one of those guys who’ll find a way to make his pieces work and gets guys buying in and working hard, but I’m not so sure that he’d make another move for yet another QB. They already have a starter and a good back up. What would they gain from RG3 that Tebow didn’t offer them?

    • bobrulz

      “What would they gain from RG3 that Tebow didn’t offer them?”

      A legitimate NFL QB, for one.

  • Mike

    There are a ton of myths surrounding the Chip Kelly offense. The two most important traits a QB on the Eagles must have are 1) delivering the ball quickly and accurately and 2) making very quick decisions. These are arguably RG3’s worst two traits as a QB. Scratch Philly as a potential option, ever.

    • John

      RG3 is very accurate, 3rd in NFL last year. He just makes bad decisions. Mark Sanchez is an inaccurate QB and makes bad decisions but worked for Chip Kelly.

      • crashby89

        That 3rd in the NFL is only because he had an amazingly low amount of YIA. The lowest ever recorded by PFF by a starter that I could find. So take that stat with a large block of salt.

        • Zach

          I was just about to say that. You look at his pass breakdown and something like 70% of his passes were 5 yards down field or less

        • Mike

          Ya thats why I didn’t even bother responding. When i saw RG3 is very accurate I almost burst out laughing at my desk lol

    • Tim Edell

      Well Chip brought in Tebow who 1) does deftinitely not deliver the ball quickly and accurately. So to say He wouldnt bring in RG3 is based on your own oppinion not based on what Chip has shown to do recently.

      • Les Bowen

        “Brought in” Tebow as in “is allowing him to compete for third QB job.” Doubt that’ll be real attractive to RG3.

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  • David Stinnett

    What about Jets.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I was thinking the Jets too only because they love a media circus and RG can provide that in spades.

  • disqus57

    Obviously, due to his contract, he is unlikely to be traded or picked up on waivers. All interested teams will be competing with each other for his services. Like any other NFL veteran, he’s going to want to have a chance to start, which pretty much rules out Atlanta, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. The Browns and the Jets would likely be more attractive to him than the Rams.

    • Julie Crenshaw

      I don’t see many teams competing with each other for his services

  • crosseyedlemon

    RG needs the kind of rebirth that Jim Plunkett underwent with the Raiders but unfortunately for him there aren’t any Al Davis clones in the league.

  • crosseyedlemon

    This is the Bears chance to unload Jay (why does everyone hate me) Cutler.

  • Izach

    Actually those were probably his two best traits in the year he was good, was decisive, and accurate along with a good supporting cast and being healthy. His only issue has been health which leads him to make poor decisions now because it has mentally gotten to him

  • goose

    Why not Houston? Probably the worst QB situation in the league, no?

    • bobrulz

      Browns are worse off, unless Manziel takes a HUGE leap.

  • Julie Crenshaw

    I really don’t see a team interested in RG3 not just his bad play but mostly his attitude….I don’t think he’s attitude will change on a different team its who he is…. Really does anyone really see him taking a back up role quietly and be happy without drama???Nope… I see him telling the team he wants to be the starter and they will say no

  • Kirk Vollmer

    Strongly disagree with the Falcons and the Ravens. Eagles and Rams unlikely as well. At this point RG3 is a rehab project. He’s not going to want to go to a team that has entrenched starters and he’s a fixture as a backup. There are plenty of teams out there that don’t have entrenched starters that would want to take a chance on him and try to fix him. Teams like the Falcons and Ravens with entrenched starters arn’t going to waste their time on a rehab project for a position they are already fine at.

  • Matty Suzuki

    I’d be surprised if Kyle wants to get anywhere close to RG3 after his previous experience. Cleveland already has one media magnet in Manzel. My bet is Rams or Cowboys. Both love a circus.

  • dbonedig

    He needs to take a pay cut down to 1M – 3M a year vs what he has now. No one will touch him having to payout 16 Mil. This is what happens when you sign/pay a human, Millions before they take a snap. You’d think by now that Pro Football would be aware of these hyped college players, coming out of college with halos over their heads. Rarely, do they pan out instantly! But, the real reason is, the season draw on attendance. This is what gets the rookies big paydays right away. Humans will mortgage their Spouses, to witness a potential star being formed.