Robert Griffin III

RG3 Claims He Nearly Signed With Ravens

Robert Griffin III wasn’t able to land an NFL contract this year, but he says he was close. In an appearance on ESPN, RG3 said that he almost wound up playing for the Ravens (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). The quarterback added that he has had “interesting offers” from other teams as well. Robert Griffin III (vertical)

It’s not clear exactly how close the Ravens were to signing Griffin, despite his claims. In July, it was reported that the Ravens considered bringing Griffin in for a workout, but those plans were said to be 86’d. At that stage of the offseason, there was some uncertainty about Joe Flacco’s health. Fortunately for Baltimore, Flacco has started all 13 games so far and Ryan Mallett – who was shaky in training camp – has remained on the bench.

Given the lack of overall interest in Griffin this past year, we’re not expecting a booming market for his services in 2018. However, a few teams will probably be willing to kick the tires on him if he can demonstrate that he is healthy.

If the NFL market lags, he could always consider a CFL stint. North of the border, his rights are owned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Luck, Colts, Manziel, Kaepernick, RG3

In speaking with reporters on Thursday night, Colts owner Jim Irsay indicated that Andrew Luck is unlikely to suit up for Week 1, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (Twitter link). Interestingly, Irsay also insinuated that the matter is now more in Luck’s head rather than his shoulder.

Whether it’s mental or not, it sounds like the Colts will be without their No. 1 QB when they face the Rams on Sept. 10. Meanwhile, the Rams could be without their best defensive player.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Johnny Manziel‘s recent audition for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats went well enough for the team to maintain interest in the troubled quarterback. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats continue to discuss a contract, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Manziel “very much wants” to sign with the Tiger-Cats or another Canadian club, as he regards the CFL as a good avenue to return to competitive football, a source suggested to Fowler. Hamilton owns Manziel’s CFL rights, and if he decides to immigrate to that league, the Tiger-Cats would have a 10-day window to sign the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner or trade him. The 24-year-old Manziel last played in a game on Dec. 27, 2015, when he was with the Browns.
  • Speaking of high-profile, out-of-work signal-callers, NFL teams are not blackballing Colin Kaepernick over his political activism, anonymous executives and a coach who spoke with Albert Breer of The MMQB insist. The general belief among the group is that both Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III would have jobs if teams believed they could truly help. There are worse QBs (particularly backups) around the league than those two, but clubs are more comfortable with how their current reserves fit their offenses than either Kaepernick or RG3 would.
  • It would have been “negligent” for Pittsburgh to not look into signing cornerback Joe Haden after the Browns released him Wednesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters, including Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Steelers added Haden shortly after the Browns parted with the eighth-year man. While Haden’s effectiveness has faded in recent seasons, the Steelers regard him as a “capable starter” and the type of player who’s not typically available in late August, per Colbert.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Cutler, Jets, Bills

If Jay Cutler didn’t return to the NFL in order to sign with the Dolphins, Miami would have considered Robert Griffin III and Christian Ponder, reports Peter King of TheMMQB.com. Of course, RG3 and Ponder were far from the only options on the table for the Dolphins, as Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, Brock Osweiler, Blaine Gabbert, and Teddy Bridgewater were all at least discussed internally. Griffin has been linked to the Seahawks, Chargers, and Ravens this offseason, while Seattle was also interested in Ponder at one point. At least one league executive believes the Dolphins had better options available under center, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

Here’s more from Miami and the rest of the AFC East:

  • Cutler will essentially earn $10MM in guaranteed money under the terms of his Dolphins contract, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). As previously reported, Cutler will take home a $5MM base salary and a $5MM roster bonus, but that bonus is due this August 9 (this Wednesday). Additionally, Cutler can earn another $3MM in incentives: $1MM if he plays 75% of Miami’s offensive snaps and the club is in the top-10 in touchdowns; $1MM if he plays 75% of snaps and the Dolphins earn a postseason berth; and another $1MM if he plays 75% of snaps and Miami wins a playoff game.
  • “No concerns” were raised about Cutler’s shoulder in his pre-signing physical, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). For what it’s worth, Cutler says he was cleared in March. Meanwhile, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase says the Dolphins have a “plan” for how they’ll manage Cutler’s preseason repetitions. “We’re going to have to be smart with that because I’m sure (Cutler) wasn’t out in the backyard throwing 100 balls a day,” Gase said, per Pelissero (Twitter link).
  • While the Jets won the rights to wide receiver Bruce Ellington last week, the Bills, Texans, and Chiefs all put in waiver claims for the former 49ers draft choice, tweets Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. Ellington, of course, didn’t last long in New York, as the Jets waived him with an injury designation just one day after acquiring him. That means any of the other clubs that attempted claims on Ellington should have an another opportunity to acquire him, either through the waiver process or after New York potentially cuts Ellington from injured reserve.
  • Free agent running back Stephen Houston worked out for the Jets last week, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Houston, originally an undrafted free agent out of Indiana, has never played in a NFL game despite bouncing between several rosters since entering the league in 2014. Most recently, Houston spent time on Baltimore’s practice squad, but was waived by the Ravens in May. The Jets, who already boast Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Brandon Wilds, and others at running back, also auditioned Shaquille Cooper last week.

Ravens No Longer Considering RGIII

Although the Ravens considered bringing in Robert Griffin III for a workout, the free agent quarterback is no longer on Baltimore’s radar, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. The Ravens are still assessing other signal-callers, including Colin Kaepernick, per Hensley.Robert Griffin III (Vertical)

Baltimore is on the hunt for another option under center while starter Joe Flacco deals with a back injury. Head coach John Harbaugh recently labeled Flacco “day-to-day,” but the Ravens still want another quarterback on the roster, especially given the struggles of incumbent backup Ryan Mallett. Although Baltimore swapped out David Olson for Josh Woodrum earlier today, that move isn’t expected to affect the team’s search for a more established quarterback.

For Griffin, meanwhile, his dalliance with Baltimore marks the second time in the past week he’s been unfruitfully linked to a club with a quarterback need. RG3, who’s reportedly been generating “minor interest,” worked out for the Chargers last week but is unlikely to sign after Los Angeles acquired Cardale Jones from the Bills. The Seahawks also considered Griffin earlier this year, but ultimately went with Austin Davis instead.

As the Ravens continue to seek another quarterback, free agent options such as Christian Ponder, Shaun Hill, and Zach Mettenberger could potentially come into play.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Which Free Agent QB Will Sign First?

Last week, a veteran quarterback came off the board, but it wasn’t one of the names that the football world has really been waiting on. Dan Orlovsky will now look to make the Rams’ final cut while more notable players continue to look for work.

Colin Kaepernick (vertical)

Things continue to be eerily quiet for Colin Kaepernick, despite the fact that he is widely regarded as the best backup quarterback option available. The Ravens say that they have some degree of interest, but they’re also concerned about how adding him to the roster would be publicly perceived. A late May workout with the Seahawks did not result in a deal and, depending on who you ask, Seattle may have passed because of Kaepernick’s salary expectations. The Cowboys also found themselves in the market for a quarterback when Zac Dysert went down with injury, but they scooped up Luke McCown without calling Kaepernick. For what it’s worth, Chip Kelly says that Kaepernick’s political activism was not a distraction while they were together in San Francisco.

Robert Griffin III (vertical)There was hope for Robert Griffin III to find a home after he had a successful audition with the Chargers earlier this month. Unfortunately for the former Redskins star, it seems that the Bolts used his quality tryout to leverage the Bills into a more favorable trade for Cardale Jones. The Bolts workout was Griffin’s first of the offseason and although the Ravens are thinking about bringing him in for a workout, it’s not clear if they’ll follow through. Griffin is eager to show teams that he can recapture some of the magic from his rookie season in 2012. But, after Griffin missed the bulk of 2016 with a shoulder injury and fell flat in his five starts, teams are not all that interested in seeing what he can do.

Kaepernick and Griffin are the most well-known QBs left on the market, but other notable names left include 37-year-old Shaun Hill, former first round pick Christian Ponder, and ex-Titans signal caller Zach Mettenberger. Of those five players – who do you think will be the next to sign? Click below to cast your vote and back up your choice in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Interested In RG3, Colin Kaepernick

On Sunday, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti confirmed that the team has interest in Colin Kaepernick. He also said the club is looking into auditioning Robert Griffin IIIColin Kaepernick (vertical)

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We’re very sensitive to it, and we’re monitoring it and we’re still, as [general manager Ozzie Newsome] says, we’re scrimmaging it,” Bisciotti said. “We’re trying to figure what’s the right tact. Pray for us.”

Naturally, the decision of whether to sign Kaepernick involves considerations that go beyond just football. Team president Dick Cass said that the team is reaching out to fans and sponsors as they think about inking the polarizing athlete (Twitter links via Jeff Zrebiec). Cass says that the organization has spoken directly with Kaepernick, so their interest certainly seems legitimate.

The Ravens aren’t certain about whether they want to kick the tires on Griffin and they will first evaluate the health of Joe Flacco and backup Ryan Mallett before moving forward (Twitter link). Of course, it doesn’t cost anything to work a player out, so one has to wonder how real the Ravens’ interest is in Griffin. It’s possible that Baltimore is looking to first light a fire under Mallett before giving serious consideration to an outside arm.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On RG3, Chargers

Robert Griffin III has generated scant interest since the Browns released him in March, but the quarterback may have a shot to latch on with the Chargers. Griffin’s Tuesday audition for the Bolts was a “positive” one, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, while Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that the two sides are likely to engage in followup conversations Wednesday (Twitter link).

Robert Griffin III (Vertical)

“He looked good,” a team source told Anderson. “The young man can move, he’s athletic, he can throw the ball. Some guys are proven and you know them; with Robert you just want to make sure he is healthy and moving around well.”

That praise seems to bode well for Griffin, though the Chargers are undecided on whether to sign the 27-year-old to push for a spot behind starter Philip Rivers.

“We are trying to put together the best roster before we go into camp,” noted the source. “We’re always looking to upgrade, and everyone is on board with that in this organization.”

When you compare their career resumes, RG3 would be an upgrade over the Chargers’ current No. 2 signal-caller, Kellen Clemens. However, the majority of Griffin’s NFL success came as a rookie with the Redskins in 2012, when he was among the best, most electrifying players in the game. Injuries and ineffectiveness beset Griffin over the past four years, which explains why he remains without a job as August nears. For now, it seems the Chargers are his best hope of landing somewhere in the near future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Robert Griffin III To Work Out For Chargers

Robert Griffin III has finally secured that elusive work out. According to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the quarterback is set to work out for the Chargers tomorrow.

Robert Griffin III (vertical)The former second-overall pick seemingly hasn’t generated any interest this offseason, as this is the first reported workout for the 27-year-old. The Seahawks previously expressed interest in the former Rookie of the Year, but the team ultimately opted for Austin Davis. Reports from earlier this month indicated that there was “mild interest” in the embattled quarterback, and it was believed that several teams would be willing to give him an opportunity during training camp. While he’s waited for an invite, Griffin has been training in Florida with former Browns assistance coach Pep Hamilton.

Teams are presumably wary of Griffin’s extensive injury history, as the quarterback has yet to make it through one of his NFL seasons unscathed. After not appearing in a single game during the 2015 season, Griffin made five starts for the Browns last year before succumbing to a shoulder injury. The quarterback completed only 59.2-percent of his passes in 2016, throwing for 886 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. He still showed the ability to run the ball, as he compiled 190 rushing yards and two touchdowns on only 31 carries.

Besides starter Philip Rivers, the Chargers are currently rostering three quarterbacks in veteran Kellen Clemens, Mike Bercovici, and undrafted rookie Eli Jenkins. ESPN’s Eric Williams tweets that coach Anthony Lynn has been on the look out for a mobile backup quarterback, and Griffin would certainly fit the bill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Robert Griffin III Generating “Mild Interest”

Free agent quarterback Robert Griffin III has begun to attract “mild interest” from NFL clubs, according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, who notes the operative word in that sentence is “mild.” A number of teams could be willing to give RG3 an opportunity during training camp, adds Freeman.Robert Griffin III (Vertical)

Griffin’s physical traits remain tantalizing, and clubs are surely still holding out hope that RG3 can come close to replicating the production he exhibited in 2012, when he arguably posted the second-best rookie quarterback campaign since the merger. Still only 27 years old, Griffin should also come rather cheaply, as he won’t come close to matching the $7.5MM annual salary he landed from the Browns last offseason.

But it’s also apparent why teams would be wary of Griffin (one executive said last month that he wouldn’t sign RG3 “under any circumstances”). Griffin simply can’t stay healthy, as injuries have limited him in every season during his NFL tenure. Last year, health concerns relegated RG3 to five starts, and he wasn’t effective during those contests, completing less than 60% of his passes and registering a 72.5 quarterback rating.

The Seahawks are the only club known to have expressed interest in Griffin this offseason, but Seattle ultimately chose Austin Davis over Griffin and a host of other signal-callers (including Colin Kaepernick). PFR recently ranked Griffin as the fourth-best free agent quarterback, behind Kaepernick, Christian Ponder, and Shaun Hill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.