RG3 to Ravens Completes the NFL's Dumbest Offseason of QB Signings

Mike Freeman@@mikefreemanNFLNFL National Lead WriterApril 4, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 24:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Cleveland Browns is helped off the field by medical staff after being sacked in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

There have been a number of stunning moves in the NFL this offseason. But one of the most ridiculous, absurd and dubious is the Baltimore Ravens' signing of a broken-down, busted-up player whose knees are in the Smithsonian, who was out of football last year and who was cut by the Cleveland Browns.

The Ravens announced Wednesday they recently worked out Robert Griffin III and will sign him to a one-year deal next week. Thus, the quarterback circus continues.

Griffin is yet another example of how the league, and teams, continue to embarrass themselves by not signing a certain player to prove a point. You know who that player is. You may have even seen him on a magazine cover.

It's incredibly bizarre. Teams are, in a manner, going out of their way to get worse. How else do they explain not signing you-know-who...

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...instead of God-knows-what?

And don't say it's because he filed a collusion claim against the NFL. It was this way last offseason. In fact, the fastest way to end any claim of collusion is for a team to sign him. More on all of this in a moment.

There was a time when Griffin was NFL royalty. Six years ago, he was the Offensive Rookie of the Year and became one of the most electric players of the past 20 seasons.

Then he shredded his knee in the 2012 playoffs and was never the same. The Browns cut him in March 2017, and last season he was out of football.

Griffin is a cautionary tale through no fault of his own. His career exemplifies how fleeting success in football can be. One minute you're a star, and the next, a busted knee or a broken bone or a head injury can instantly change everything.

Griffin exemplifies something else as well. The conga line of terrible, awful QBs who are getting second, third and 20th chances.

The one talented passer who's not being signed is a former Super Bowl quarterback whose name rhymes with Wolin Waepernick. He's still available, and no team has come close to signing him.

We've been down this well-traveled road before, so I won't keep phasering a dead horse, but the Ravens are yet another example of a team, and league, that's spiting itself to make a stupid point.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco is at the end of his career. He is, at best, an average player. Wish I was wrong since he's meant so much to that city and team, but it's true.

The Ravens are putting more weapons around Flacco, but he will always be the quarterback who was once very good but has slipped to very mediocre.

Baltimore can still add a quarterback through the draft, but the chances a rookie thrower will be a viable replacement for Flacco next year if he's hurt, or implodes, are slim.

That leaves Griffin. Again, let's emphasize this point: Griffin didn't play a down last season. This offseason, Brock Osweiler, Brandon Weeden and now Matt Cassel were signed before him.

Robert Griffin III has yet to recapture the promise of his rookie season ever since he injured his knee in 2012.
Robert Griffin III has yet to recapture the promise of his rookie season ever since he injured his knee in 2012.Don Wright/Associated Press

How bad does a player have to be when Osweiler and Weeden and Cassel get on rosters first?

The NFL has become the land of second chances for quarterbacks (except one guy). Several teams continue to tell me they think it's only a matter of time before an NFL franchise signs Johnny Manziel, the disgraced quarterback who on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday said something absolutely staggering.

"If Cleveland did any of their homework, they would have known I wasn't a guy who came in every day and watch film," he said. "I wasn't a guy who really knew the X's and O's of football."

Think about that quote for a second.

The Ravens, meanwhile, seem extremely happy about signing a guy who can no longer pass or run well.

"Confident guy. We felt like we needed a No. 2 quarterback," coach John Harbaugh told reporters. "I feel like we got a steal. I felt like he really wanted to be here, be a Raven."

A steal?

We are truly in NFL bizarro world.


Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.


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