Friday, March 25, 2016

On The Mark 3.25.16: Cleveland Browns Offseason #Browns #RG3

Browns sign Robert Griffin III to a 2 year deal, first round pick now up in the air
By Mark West, @MarkW2112

The Cleveland Browns, with new head coach Hue Jackson leading the way, have signed Robert Griffin III to a 2 year, $15 million contract with incentives that could lead to a total of $22 million.  It's a big splash for a team that said they wouldn't make any during this offseason. Jackson has said that during the private workout, he said he"felt the earth shake" with the way RG3 was able to roll out and hit his practice receivers.  RG3 also has said he sees this as a new opportunity for him to restart his career.  He said he is open to the Browns selecting a quarterback with the 2nd pick of the 2016 NFL draft, stating he would "take him under his wing".  

My opinion: This is a great signing for the Browns.  Obviously, many are of the mindset that RG3 lost his starting job to fourth round pick Kirk Cousins and that he was a locker room cancer.  My opinion is this; he's a low risk, high reward signing that has better leadership upside than Johnny Manziel and gives the Browns options with the #2 pick in the draft.  Hue Jackson is a "quarterback whisperer" and has had huge success with quarterbacks he's worked with, especially the last 2 years with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati.

While the term "locker room cancer" has been thrown around RG3, he never once acted out against his coaches and took his benching in stride. It's possible the experience has humbled him and that he is ready for a new chapter in his life.

The biggest issues facing him are the key losses of Alex Mack at center and Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle.  There is the unknown with Cameron Erving, who was less than average last year and will be looked at as the new center as well as Austin Pasztor, who was solid at which ever line position he played last year but is still a bit of an unknown at right tackle.  Even bigger than that is the wide receiver core the Browns have right now. Currently, their best receiver is Gary Barnidge, the tight end. Josh Gordon is still an unknown (though the Browns are moving forward without him) and there are no other real number 1 type receivers on the roster.  It would appear that things won't be easy for RG3.

Unless Jackson, Sashi Brown and the rest of the Browns front office have a plan that they aren't leading on, this will more than likely be a tough year for Griffin.  He must have been sold on the plan for 2016 if he had enough faith to come to Cleveland, where he has the possibility of being the 25th starting quarterback since 1999.

In the end, it remains that the Browns have a quarterback that they didn't need to trade crucial draft picks for.  It also gives them the chance to perhaps select a quarterback later in the draft and use the 2nd pick for a player like Jalen Ramsey or even trade down with the potential of getting more draft picks.  With this signing, the draft appears to be up in the air.  

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