Robert Griffin III

NFC Rumors: Kaepernick, RG3, Eagles

Three NFL executives tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that they see former 49ers signal caller Colin Kaepernick as the best backup quarterback option available. Of course, we have watched many other QBs come off of the board while Kaepernick remains unsigned.

Kaep, [Shaun] Hill, Dan Orlovsky, Robert Griffin III,” said one AFC exec when asked to rank the best remaining options.

A fourth exec surveyed by Fowler opined that Griffin is actually the best QB left on the market. Meanwhile, one official in the group said he wouldn’t sign Griffin “under any circumstances.” It seems like teams agree more with the latter opinion as Griffin has drawn very little interest this offseason.

Here’s a look at the NFC:

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Seahawks Like Kaepernick Over RG3

This week, Pete Carroll made waves when he said that the team is considering both Colin Kaepernick and RG3 as potential backups for Russell Wilson. Apparently, the team’s interest in Kaepernick is far stronger than its interest in Griffin. Kaepernick is a “potential, legitimate option” that the Seahawks are mulling while the chance of a Griffin signing is more of a “remote possibility,” according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). "<strong

A few short years ago, the idea of Griffin being a potential backup quarterback was unthinkable. Now, RGIII wishes he could get real consideration as a backup quarterback. As far as we know, no teams have really pursued him this spring and Carroll’s mention of him on Monday was the first time we’ve really heard his name from an NFL official this offseason.

Last year was supposed to be a fresh start for Griffin, but a major shoulder injury suffered in Week 1 of the 2016 season derailed everything. When the Browns activated him from IR later in the year, he still couldn’t recapture the magic of his 2012 rookie campaign. Griffin did help the Browns to their lone win last season, but he did very little to boost his own market heading into free agency.

RG3 completed 87 of 147 passes (59.2% completion rate) and threw for 886 yards with two scores against three interceptions last year. If he had enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ rankings at QB, his overall score would have placed him among the worst at the position.

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Seahawks Considering Kaepernick, RG3

The Seahawks are looking to add some competition behind starter Russell Wilson and that could lead them to sign a high-profile signal caller. When asked about the possibility of signing Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III on Monday, Carroll said they are monitoring both players. Colin Kaepernick

[RELATED: Eddie Lacy Makes Weight In First Seahawks Check]

We’re looking at everybody. We really are,” Carroll said (via ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia). “We’ve been tracking everything that’s going on, and we’ve got cap and roster issues and stuff like that that we’re still trying to manage properly. But quite frankly, yes, we are looking at all those guys.”

As it stands, Trevone Boykin is slated to be Wilson’s primary backup, but his March arrest probably has the team considering other options. Jake Heaps and UDFA Skyler Howard are also on the roster, but both lack NFL experience.

With today’s statement from Carroll, the Seahawks become the first known team to express any level of interest in Kaepernick or Griffin. Kaepernick, it seems, hasn’t found much of a market because of his controversial political views. Griffin, meanwhile, was lobbying for a chance with the Jets earlier this offseason but that interest was not reciprocated.

A case can be made that Kaepernick had something of a bounce back season in 2016 when he threw for 16 touchdowns against four interceptions and finished second among QBs in rushing yards with 468. When it comes to Griffin, no one really knows what to make of him after he missed all but five games in 2016. In that limited sample with the Browns, Griffin went 1-4 with two TDs against three picks and a poor 59.2% completion rate. We haven’t seen Griffin turn in anything close to a real season since 2014 and he hasn’t been able to reprise his outstanding 2012 rookie season.

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CFL Team Holds Rights To Kaepernick, RG3

The CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats have added quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III to their exclusive negotiation list, a source tells ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert (Twitter link). It’s not clear if Kaepernick or Griffin are open to playing north of the border, but if they do, their rights will be reserved by the Tiger-Cats. Colin Kaepernick (vertical)

Kaepernick and RG3 are among the best free agent quarterbacks left on the board, but, for different reasons, they haven’t garnered a lot of interest from NFL teams thus far. Kaepernick is a lightning-rod for controversy who is years removed from his best work. Griffin, meanwhile, is even further removed from his salad days and barely played in 2016 due to injury. In time, I expect that Griffin will find work, but it’s possible that all 32 teams could avoid Kaepernick over fear of a locker room distraction.

The Tiger-Cats also own the rights to Johnny Manziel, giving them three big-name QB possibilities.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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RG3 Wants To Play For Jets

This offseason, the Jets’ resource limitations kept them from pursuing quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo and keeping up with the bidding for free agent Mike Glennon. As their options dwindle, a new name could emerge as a possibility. The recently-released Robert Griffin III is interested in playing for the Jets, a source familiar with the situation tells NJ.com’s Connor Hughes. It’s not immediately clear whether that interest in being reciprocated at this time."<strong

Last year, we know that the Jets did have some level of interest in RG3. He was brought to Florham Park, New Jersey for a visit and he enjoyed his trip there, according to the source. Griffin, 27, looked like he was a rising star early in his career. As time went on, however, injuries slowed him down and his relationship with team brass in Washington became toxic. He went to Cleveland in search of a fresh start, but he was once again dogged by injury. He left the Browns after appearing in just five games for them in 2016.

Now, RG3 is looking for Act 3 of his career. And that could go down in New York, if the Jets feel that he is among their better options right now. All we know right now is that the Jets are thinking about signing Jay Cutler and Tony Romo won’t be an option of them for a number of reasons. If RG3 isn’t to their liking, they’ll be left to sift through a lot of QB2 types on the open market, including their own free agent Geno Smith.

Right now, the only quarterbacks on the Jets roster are Bryce Petty (who shares an alma mater with RG3) and Christian Hackenberg.

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Browns To Release RG3

The Browns are releasing Robert Griffin III, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Griffin leaves the Browns after playing in just five games for the organization. <a rel=

After the Browns acquired Brock Osweiler on Thursday, it was speculated that the club could turn around and release Griffin. It’s still not certain that the Browns will forge ahead with Osweiler as their starter, but this could be a sign of that coming to fruition. Griffin will now re-enter the free agent market without much to show teams from last year.

Griffin suffered a serious shoulder injury in his very first game with Cleveland last year. After that, he was designated as the team’s one player for return from injured reserve. All in all, he played in five games and completed just 59.2% of his passes for 886 yards with 2 touchdowns against 3 interceptions. He also added 190 yards on the ground off of 31 carries and had two rushing touchdowns.

This is a far cry from his rookie performance with the Redskins in 2012. That season, the first-rounder completed 65.6-percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He added another 850 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. In the four seasons since, Griffin has only played in 27 games.

The quarterback visited the Jets as a free agent last offseason, but it’s unlikely the organization would have interest in him this time around. For team’s seeking a backup, there are a number of more reliable options available via free agency. However, you could argue that many of these quarterbacks don’t have the same ceiling as RG3.

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AFC Rumors: Browns, Jets, Chiefs, Dolphins

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport has provided some more insight on the Browns‘ quarterback plans following their acquisition of Brock Osweiler earlier today (Twitter link). The reporter notes that the team is likely to release Robert Griffin III, and they’ll continue shopping Osweiler as they search for a proper deal. Rapoport also expects the organization to select a signal-caller in the draft.

Let’s take a look at some other AFC notes on a busy day around the NFL…

  • Rams free agent running back Benny Cunningham is set to visit the Jets, reports Jason La Canfora (via Twitter). The former undrafted free agent has spent his entire four-year career with the Rams. He finished last season with 101 rushing yards and 16 receptions while serving primarily as a third-down back.
  • Linebacker Gerald Hodges will visit the Chiefs, according to ProFootballTalk (via Twitter). The former 49ers defender had a career-season in 2016, finishing with 83 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.
  • The Dolphins have restructured defensive end Nick Williams‘ contract, reports Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). The 27-year-old played in 10 games between the Chiefs and Dolphins last season, finishing with eight tackles.
  • Lawrence Timmons will be visiting the Dolphins on Friday, tweets ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. The veteran linebacker spent his entire 10-year career with the Steelers, and he finished last season with 114 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions.

Texans Trade Brock Osweiler To Browns

Whoa! The Texans are trading quarterback Brock Osweiler and a 2018 second-round pick to the Browns in order to move his $16MM salary off the books, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Facebook link). The deal will also see the Browns’ fourth-round pick go to Houston and the Texans’ sixth-round choice to go Cleveland. The Texans have made the deal official, announcing its completion via press release."<strong

This type of deal rarely goes down in the NFL and is more of an NBA or MLB type of transaction. In this swap, the Browns are absorbing an albatross of a deal in order to acquire significant draft compensation. The wheeling and dealing might not stop here: Cleveland is not committed to keeping Osweiler and is likely to try to trade him, sources tell Schefter.

On the other hand, maybe they’ll keep him. The Browns are expected to move on from Robert Griffin III and the Brock Osweiler acquisition should clear the way for that, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The move clears out tons of cap space for the Texans who are expected to use that money towards signing Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Schefter writes. The deal saves $10MM in cap space for the Texans and $16MM in cash.

The Texans signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72MM roughly one year ago today with the hope that he would be their QB of the future. That, obviously, did not work out. Osweiler’s deal calls for him to earn $16MM guaranteed this year. After that, he has $18MM and $17MM non-guaranteed salaries in 2018 and 2019.

The Browns came into this week with upwards of $100MM to spend and Schefter writes that they would have struggled to spend all of it. Still, this seems like a very strange way to utilize that space. The only way this trade would make real sense for the Browns, in my view, is if they already have a final leg of the trade set up in which they deal Osweiler for something else of value. As of this writing, the Browns are spending $16MM in cash to acquire a second-round choice and that is not good business.

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Latest On Browns’ QB Possibilities

Colin Kaepernick has informed all 32 NFL teams he’s going to opt out of his contract with the 49ers and become a free agent. When that happens, one team that definitely won’t pursue Kaepernick is the quarterback-needy Browns, a league source told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.

Colin Kaepernick

Browns head coach Hue Jackson has demonstrated an affinity for Kaepernick in the past, so it’s conceivable the 29-year-old could have been on their radar. Jackson had interest last offseason in Kaepernick, who was then coming off an injury-plagued, statistically subpar campaign. But Kaepernick bounced back to a degree in 2016, as he tossed 16 touchdown passes against four interceptions, averaged 7.2 yards per attempt (up from 6.2 in 2015) and finished second among QBs in rushing yards (468, on a lofty 6.8 per carry) as part of a two-win team.

The only signal-caller who outrushed Kaepernick last year, the Bills’ Tyrod Taylor, will be on the Browns’ list if Buffalo releases him, reiterates Cabot. So could Buccaneers backup and soon-to-be free agent Mike Glennon, and the Browns also aren’t going to give up on acquiring either Patriots No. 2 Jimmy Garoppolo or Bengals reserve A.J. McCarron via trade, according to Cabot. The Patriots are reportedly unlikely to deal Garoppolo, though, while the Bengals will place a high price tag on McCarron – a former Jackson pupil – if anyone inquires about his availability.

Should the Browns fail to reel in a palatable long-term option via trades or free agency, the draft – in which they’re set to pick first and 12th overall – could be the avenue they take. Cabot notes they’ll “strongly consider” selecting a potential franchise passer then.

For now, their most established option under center is Robert Griffin III, who’s due a $750K roster bonus March 11. It’s possible Griffin will stay on the roster beyond that date, though, head of football operations Sashi Brown said Wednesday (via Cabot).

“That’s not going to be a major decision for us one way or the other in terms of a lever for making that decision,” he revealed. “We’re going to evaluate Robert, not his contract. And we’ve had some discussions there.”

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