The one thing I root for when it comes to the NFL is a great story. And while the prospect of Magic Johnson pulling a rabbit from his hat by luring Peyton Manning to L.A. would generate plenty of interest, there’s another quarterback who’s migration to California would be nearly as compelling.
Four years ago, the Rams picked up three first-round picks and a second-round pick in exchange for the privilege of drafting quarterback Robert Griffin III. And the Rams repeatedly reminded Washington of the move, from selecting the players obtained through the trade as captains for a game against Griffin’s team to using the picks as a draft-room rallying cry.
“It made too much sense for us to go ahead and recognize the guys that probably wouldn’t be here had it not been for the trade,” Fisher said in December 2014, explaining his coin-toss emissaries following a game against Washington. “We want to do that before the game. It was a memory that will last them for a lifetime. It was a good idea. I’ve sent other people out for different reasons as well.”
Now that Griffin’s time in Washington is coming to an end (unless they want to pay him more than $16 million fully guaranteed for 2016), the prospect looms of the Rams completing the grift by signing Griffin.
Some will say Griffin is now irrelevant, especially after a season spent in bubble wrap, following a preseason game in which the Lions nearly burst him. But Washington coach Jay Gruden decided that Kirk Cousins fits the offense better than Griffin, and once that decision was made there was no reason to risk owing Griffin that $16 million salary for 2016, since last year it was guaranteed only for injury.
The Rams would need to put Griffin through the paces of a full-blown workout before signing him, to ensure he still can move and cut and throw. But it’s a low bar to surpass the skill sets of Nick Foles and Case Keenum, and if no one else is offering Griffin starter money, it could be easy to get Griffin.
Yes, the Cowboys may come calling for Griffin, offering him a chance to serve as Tony Romo’s understudy and to be groomed as his successor. But the financial package would reflect that status. So if Griffin wants to maximize his earnings and play now, why not be interested in playing in L.A.?
The mere fact that it would be the perfect bow on one of the worst trades since the Herschel Walker debacle makes it worth trying.