As expected, the Browns have named Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback. RGIII, whose contract includes playing time bonuses, will start for Cleveland on Friday in the team’s preseason opener at Green Bay.
“It’s time. Robert has earned the right to be named the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns,” coach Hue Jackson said in a press release. “Since he was signed back in March, Robert has made it clear through his actions that he is willing to do everything that has been asked of him to earn this role. Throughout this process he has gained the respect from his teammates, the coaching staff and the entire organization that is necessary for him to lead our offense and really the entire team. Pep (Hamilton) has done an outstanding job with that room to get us to this point so we can make this decision at what I feel is the optimal time which enables us to best prepare for the regular season. It’s now on Robert to show the organization and our fans that this is the right decision. Throughout the offseason program and training camp, Robert has shown improvement every day and we expect him to continue to ascend as he becomes more and more acclimated to the offensive system we will employ this season. I’ve been crystal clear on what we expect from Robert. He fully understands the responsibility and I feel he is ready to handle this role.”
With Griffin officially named as the team’s starter, the Browns can be expected to continue discussing trades involving backup Josh McCown. After the Cowboys struck out on free agent Nick Foles last week, they inquired on the veteran. The Browns reportedly want at least a third- or fourth-round pick for McCown and the Cowboys feel that the asking price is too steep.
Griffin is entering his fifth NFL season out of Baylor. Originally selected by Washington with the No. 2 overall pick in 2012, Griffin has appeared in 37 games with 35 starts. Griffin set NFL rookie records for passer rating (102.4), interception percentage (1.27) and rushing yards by a quarterback (815) en route to being named the Offensive Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl selection. Starting 13 games in 2013, Griffin recorded a career-high 3,203 passing yards and became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to record 3,000 passing yards in each of his first two seasons. Unfortunately, things have petered out for Griffin since that point and he is hoping to get back to his old form with his new team.
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