Robert Griffin III Rumors: Browns Host QB on Official Visit

Joe PantornoFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2016

Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III smiles during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

Quarterback Robert Griffin III has been on the free-agent market for less than two weeks after the Washington Redskins released him on March 8. Interest in the former offensive Rookie of the Year has been percolating, especially from a team in the AFC North. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Griffin spent Friday and Saturday on a visit with the Cleveland Browns, but "nothing is imminent." Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo reported Griffin left Cleveland on Saturday evening, adding it sounded "like a good visit."

Griffin also visited the New York Jets on March 11, per Rapoport (via's Dan Hanzus), as they have yet to reach an agreement with free-agent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick on a new contract. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on March 10 that Fitzpatrick and the Jets were "nowhere close to an agreement, with no deal expected anytime soon."

The Browns are in search of a new quarterback after the struggles of Josh McCown and Austin Davis and, most notably, the fallout and release of troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel. This is nothing new for the franchise, which has cycled through 24 different quarterbacks with little success since the team returned in 1999, per Zach Maisel of 

Cleveland has also been linked to disgruntled San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who told sources that he wants to play for the Browns, according to Schefter. However, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported on March 14 that the 28-year-old's interest has cooled since the beginning of free agency.

One thing Kaepernick has over Griffin is his ability to stay on the field. In his first four NFL seasons, Griffin played in just 37 of a possible 64 games, though he sat out the entire 2015 season after being benched for Kirk Cousins. Washington shut him down for the final three games of the 2013 campaign in fear of him getting hurt, and he missed six games in 2014 after dislocating his left ankle in Week 2.

Kaepernick, though, is going through rehab on his non-throwing shoulder this offseason after undergoing surgery on Nov. 24 to repair a torn labrum. 

If Griffin is able to prove to Cleveland that he can play at the same electrifying level he did as a rookie in 2012, in which he threw for 3,200 yards and rushed for another 815, the Browns might have a steal on their hands if they offer him a deal.


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