Robert Griffin III Released by Cleveland Browns

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 24:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Cleveland Browns is helped on the sidelines during a game against the San Diego Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Browns defeated the Chargers 20-17.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns announced Robert Griffin III was released Friday after a lone season with the team.

Josina Anderson of ESPN initially reported the news. Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported Griffin had a $750,000 roster bonus due Saturday.

Griffin, 27, appeared in five games for the Browns in 2016, throwing for 886 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 59.2 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 190 yards and another two scores. The Browns went 1-4 in his five starts.

Griffin's health concerns can't be overstated. Along with missing 11 games last year with a fractured bone in his left shoulder, he missed the first five weeks of the 2015 season with a concussion (and was benched by Washington in favor of Kirk Cousins upon his return). In every season of his career, injuries have been a major storyline and cost him playing time. 

Even when he's been healthy, Griffin's play has declined after his amazing 2012 rookie season, when he set career highs in yards from scrimmage (4,015), rushing yards (815), touchdown passes (20) and rushing scores (seven), with just five interceptions.

With the Browns likely to seek a franchise quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft, Griffin became expendable in Cleveland.

It's unclear what Griffin's future holds, though Connor Hughes of NJ.com reported he is interested in joining the New York Jets, who are in need of a quarterback.

For teams looking for a backup quarterback—or perhaps teams still in the market for a starter—Griffin will be intriguing. Griffin doesn't appear likely to become a superstar again, but he's still capable of running an NFL offense, and his scrambling ability makes him a unique weapon.

If he can stay on the field, that is. 


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