Robert Griffin III, Ravens Agree to Contract; QB Did Not Play Last Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) rolls out as he looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Pittsburgh . A person familiar with the decision says the Browns are releasing quarterback Robert Griffin III after one injury-marred season. Griffin is being let go one day before he would have been due a $750,000 roster bonus, said the person who spoke Friday, March 10, 2017,  to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the move.  (AP Photo/Don Wright, File)
Don Wright/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens and free-agent quarterback Robert Griffin III agreed to terms on a one-year deal Wednesday. 

Griffin, 28, went into the 2016 season as the starter for the Cleveland Browns but played in just five games, throwing for 886 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He completed 59.2 percent of his passes. Always a threat on the ground, Griffin added 190 rushing yards and two scores.

The abysmal Browns went just 1-4 in his five starts, and the team ultimately decided to cut him before the 2017 season. He didn't appear in an NFL game last year.

Griffin claimed in Dec. 2017 on ESPN's SC6 (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk) that he had offers to join the Ravens and Arizona Cardinals but turned them down, noting that the Cardinals had too many quarterbacks on the roster and that Baltimore expressed interest too close to the start of the regular season, not giving him enough time to learn the offense.

"I had interest in the offseason," he added. "It just wasn't the right fit and I had to make that decision for myself to say, 'Look, if I don't accept this offer, there's a chance I won't play football this year.' And I would talk to my family, and I was OK with that, OK with the fact that it might happen."

Griffin's health concerns continue to be a major storyline in his career, as he spent 16 games on injured reserve between the 2015-16 seasons (and was ultimately demoted in his last year in Washington, as Kirk Cousins was named the starter). 

After a legendary 2012 rookie season, Griffin has regressed in each subsequent season. While he didn't play poorly in his five starts in 2016, he also didn't play well enough for the Browns to retain him.

In other words, Baltimore may represent his last chance to prove he has a future role in the NFL. Griffin can prove his value as a reliable backup behind Joe Flacco and perhaps earn a starting gig at some point if he's forced into action and impresses.

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