The Browns landed quarterback Robert Griffin III in part because no one else wanted him. Specifically, because the Broncos didn’t want him.
Griffin definitely was interested in the Broncos; he grew up a fan of the team. The problem for Griffin is that the coach and G.M. of the Broncos have ties that are too close to Griffin’s first coach in the NFL.
As explained by Mike Klis of 9News.com, the Broncos considered Griffin but ultimately opted not to pursue him.
“[A]fter making a few phone calls, Elway was concerned about Griffin’s character,” Klis writes. “Elway never did express interest in the former Washington quarterback who was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2012 but had several fallouts with Coach Mike Shanahan, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and teammates.”
While Klis never makes the express connection between Elway, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, and Mike Shanahan, that link doesn’t need to made for a Denver audience. Broncos fans know that Elway was the quarterback, Kubiak was the coordinator, and Shanahan was the coach for the team’s back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998.
Clearly, Elway and Kubiak spoke to Shanahan. Even more clearly, Shanahan had things to say about Griffin that kept the Broncos from even doing an independent tire kicking by bringing Griffin in for a visit.
Whether they made the right call will depend in large part on how Griffin performs for Cleveland — and how whoever becomes the quarterback in Denver performs in 2016.