The Cleveland Browns have signed quarterback Robert Griffin III, amid plenty of questions about his ability to become an effective starting quarterback once again.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Browns addressed some of those questions by putting Griffin through a workout that included passing drills during his recent visit to the team. The Browns clearly liked what they saw.
However, Griffin did not run and cut (beyond executing rollout passes), leaving unresolved the question of whether he can run like he did before tearing his ACL a second time during the 2012 season. Some think Griffin can’t run like he used to; the reality is that he hasn’t been called upon to do it very much in the three seasons since he tore the ligament.
Since then, Griffin played most extensively in 2013, starting 13 games after missing all of the offseason, training camp, and the preseason. Those performances came less than a year after surgery to repair the torn ACL.
Come 2014, Griffin suffered an ankle injury in Week Two, missed six weeks, and then found himself on and off the bench over the balance of the season. By 2015, with a contract for 2016 fully guaranteed for injury at $16.1 million and after a ragged preseason that prompted coach Jay Gruden to go with Kirk Cousins, Griffin landed in bubble wrap and disappeared from view.
Now, with plenty of time to get healthy and a head coach who seems to fully support and believe in Griffin, he’ll have a chance to thrive. Of course, he may have thrived even more if he had center Alex Mack, tackle Mitchell Schwartz, and receiver Travis Benjamin available to help the offense. Even with those players gone, Griffin believed that Cleveland provided his best option for resurrecting a career that pushed him to the NFL offensive rookie of the year award, over the likes of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson.
If Griffin can get back into that same conversation, it will be the best move the Browns have made since the original Browns moved to Baltimore 20 years ago and became the Ravens.