Robert Griffin III Reportedly Will Sign with Cleveland Browns

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Bob Leverone/Associated Press

Robert Griffin III confirmed his release from the Washington Redskins on March 7, and looks to be close to finding a new home.

Continue for updates.

Griffin Reportedly Expected to Sign with Browns

Thursday, March 24

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Griffin is "expected to reach [an] agreement" with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday. 

"Prevailing feeling among coaches and [general managers] here in [Boca Raton, Florida,] at [the] NFL owners [meetings] is that most expect [the Browns] to be able to get [a] deal done [with Griffin]," reported Fox Sports' Jay Glazer on Wednesday. 

Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported on Tuesday that Griffin was humbled during his meetings with the Browns and is willing to learn from the past:

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on March 21 that he continues to hear "a mounting buzz" regarding the Browns' intent to sign Griffin, adding he "wouldn't be surprised at all if that came together this week."

Marc Sessler of NFL.com noted Griffin met with the Browns on March 18 and 19, and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com provided a synopsis of what Sashi Brown, the Browns' executive vice president of football operations, said regarding the team's interest in Griffin.

"Brown said the Browns are moving forward on possibly signing [Griffin] and that the team is doing its due diligence," Cabot reported. "He did not sound like a signing is imminent, but those things can change. [Griffin] and his agent, Ben Dogra, are not at the meetings."

Sessler provided comments Browns head coach Hue Jackson made to NFL Media's Steve Wyche:

It was a great meeting. I think he's obviously a tremendous talent and a great young man. He had a lot of success early in Washington and then things just didn't work out. Those things happen in the National Football League. But at the same time we are going through our process. We are going to be very diligent in what we are doing -- trying to make sure that we put the right quarterbacks on our football team and in that quarterback room. And that's one of my biggest responsibilities and also one of our organization's biggest responsibilities.

On March 20, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported, "The Browns are making calls to people who know Griffin to find out who may know more about the player and, specifically, his character." Florio continued:

The Browns reportedly are willing to give up a third-round pick to acquire quarterback Colin Kaepernick from the 49ers, but Kaepernick reportedly isn't willing to reduce his $12 million salary far enough to get the deal done. The interest in Griffin, who can be acquired without compensation to any team and surely at far less than $12 million, could be aimed at getting Kaepernick to blink.

And if Kaepernick doesn't blink, the Browns possibly will give Griffin a chance to turn around his career with a franchise that has been trying to turn itself around for more than a decade.

Regarding Kaepernick, Jackson also told Wyche (via Sessler): "I can't comment on players on other teams. But it is where it is and eventually I think all those things will show itself." Brown provided more details, however, courtesy of Cabot:

Brown said the Browns are not actively engaged in trade talks with the 49ers for Colin Kaepernick, "and at this point we don't anticipate being engaged with San Francisco." He said the Browns were called to see if they were interested, and engaged in some preliminary talks. He said the Browns' interest was "over-reported," and that they never negotiated a draft pick or a new contract for Kaepernick.

Griffin a Possibility for Broncos

Tuesday, March 22

"[Griffin] is one of the free guys out there," Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said, courtesy of ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold. "... He's obviously been part of the conversation. We'll see what happens; he's a talented young man."

Schefter first reported on March 9 that Griffin was on the "Broncos' list of replacement quarterbacks" after Brock Osweiler agreed to join the Houston Texans.

Maccagnan Comments on Griffin's Visit to Jets

Friday, March 18

"We did obviously bring in [Griffin]. ... It was more to do our due diligence with him," New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said, per Eric Allen of Jets.com.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reported on March 12 that the Jets had dinner with Griffin on March 11 and had another meeting planned at the facility.

Dom Cosentino of NJ.com reported that a deal wasn't close and Ryan Fitzpatrick is still the team's focus. Cole added at the time that there had been no contract talks between Griffin and the Jets.

Griffin Interested in Rams

Thursday, March 10

Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reported Griffin would "very much" like to play for the Los Angeles Rams.

On March 4, Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman listed the Rams among 10 teams potentially interested in Griffin.

Griffin Linked to 49ers

Thursday, March 10

Ed Werder of ESPN reported that if Kaepernick leaves San Francisco, he expected head coach Chip Kelly to have "serious interest" in Griffin.

On March 8, Rotoworld noted, "Werder suggested on SportsCenter [on] Tuesday that the 49ers were [Griffin's] best bet as a landing spot."

Griffin Unlikely to Land with Cowboys

Monday, March 7

Given both his ties to Texas and the Dallas Cowboys' need for a long-term successor to Tony Romo, the Cowboys would appear to be a good fit. Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Monday that Dallas is in play but doubted Griffin winds up there.

Speculation Running Rampant as to Griffin's Next Move

Monday, March 7

Breer weighed in with his two cents as to RG3's best fits:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

I know @JeffDarlington has mentioned it, I'd echo his sentiment -- Chiefs look to me like the best fit for Robert Griffin III.

La Canfora argued his opportune fit is in the Bay Area:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Have long commented on how, with Kaepernick's future not in SF, RG3 would make a lot of sense for Chip Kelly.

Cole reported in February a few teams would prefer to sign RG3 but only if he becomes even more of a pocket passer. Cole added Griffin might have to start out as a backup:


On March 4, Freeman reported potentially 10 teams had some level of interest in Griffin and that the number might be as high as 15 or more. Freeman added the Browns, Rams and Texans were the top contenders among the NFL personnel he interviewed.

Griffin Lost Out to Cousins in Washington

Griffin hasn't played a regular-season game since 2014 after Kirk Cousins replaced him as Washington's starting quarterback in 2015. It's no secret the former Heisman Trophy winner hasn't been the same since he tore his ACL and MCL in the 2013 NFC Wild Card Game.

The injuries forced RG3 to be more of a pocket quarterback, and he struggled to fit into his new role in 2013.

Despite his decline, Griffin is bound to have a few different options in free agency. He's still relatively young, and his outright release from the Redskins would mean a new team doesn't have to assume the $16.155 million he would've otherwise been due.

As much of a risk as Griffin carries, this year's market is extremely thin when it comes to quarterbacks. Cousins will earn nearly $20 million from Washington in 2016, while Sam Bradford received $26 million guaranteed from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Given Cleveland's subpar quarterback play, it makes sense they'd be willing to gamble on Griffin.


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