RGIII has agreed to join ESPN as an on-air personality (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). However, the free agent quarterback has an out clause in his contract that would allow him to return to the game, should an opportunity arise.
Griffin also drew interest from FOX with both networks eyeing him as a college football and NFL analyst. RG3 reportedly impressed in his on-camera auditions, prompting a bit of a bidding war. Ultimately, the 31-year-old went with the folks in Bristol.
Griffin has previously returned to the NFL after a hiatus. Griffin did not play in 2017 after he was cut by the Browns. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year signed with the Ravens in 2018, where he served as a backup — first for Joe Flacco, then for Lamar Jackson. Griffin, however, threw just one touchdown pass with four interceptions as a Raven with a 57% completion rate.
A hamstring injury ended Griffin’s 2020 campaign, prompting the Ravens to evaluate younger options like Trace McSorley and 2020 UDFA Tyler Huntley. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, meanwhile, may be done with football.
While numerous backup quarterback types have changed teams this offseason, Robert Griffin III news has been scarce since the Ravens cut him earlier this year. Friday, however, brought news that would point to the veteran quarterback pausing or ending his playing career.
Both networks, however, are waiting to see if RG3 will push to play in 2021. If he does not, it appears he will have high-profile off-field options — ones that would not necessarily end his playing career.
Griffin has returned to the NFL after a hiatus previously. After the Browns cut him in March 2017, Griffin did not play that season. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year signed with the Ravens in 2018, working as a backup for the past three seasons. Following Baltimore’s 2019 Joe Flacco trade, RG3 served as Lamar Jackson‘s primary backup for the past two seasons. Griffin, however, threw one touchdown pass and four interceptions as a Raven, completing 57% of his passes. A hamstring injury ended Griffin’s 2020 campaign.
The Ravens are going with younger passers behind Jackson for the time being. Trace McSorley and 2020 UDFA Tyler Huntley are vying for Baltimore’s QB2 role this year. That competition failing to produce a clear winner could prompt the Ravens to circle back to Griffin, but he has not been connected to the Ravens or another team this offseason.
The Ravens got a jump start on their spring cleaning this week by releasing Griffin & Co, plus running backMark Ingram. It all amounts to a professional courtesy, since the Ravens were eliminated by the Bills on Saturday.
Griffin first joined the Ravens as a backup for Joe Flacco and stuck around to be Lamar Jackson‘s primary backstop. In three years, RG3 started twice and threw one touchdown against four interceptions. One of those starts came this year, a 19-14 loss to the rival Steelers.
The former No. 2 overall pick tweeted that “the best is yet to come,” an indication that he’ll seek another job in 2021. Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2011, turns 31 in February.
The hamstring injury Robert Griffin III suffered Wednesday in Pittsburgh will result in a prolonged absence. This could complicate matters for the Ravens.
While RG3 going on IR would not normally affect Baltimore’s starting lineup, it is not yet known if Lamar Jackson will be ready to return when first eligible to come off the Ravens’ reserve/COVID-19 list. Jackson tested positive for the coronavirus on Nov. 26 and cannot return to practice until Sunday. The Ravens will host the Cowboys on Tuesday night.
Baltimore used third-stringer Trace McSorley — who was recently activated from the COVID list — at the end of Wednesday’s loss to the Steelers. He would be in line to start for the Ravens against the Cowboys, should Jackson require more recovery time.
RG3 struggled against the Steelers but brings extensive NFL experience McSorley obviously lacks. An eighth-year NFL vet, Griffin has been Jackson’s backup for three years. Griffin cannot resume his QB2 duties until at least Week 16.
The Ravens held Dobbins and Mark Ingram out of their thrice-rescheduled game in Pittsburgh. Both backs tested positive for COVID-19 but would have been eligible to return for Week 12. Dobbins being back in action will be a boon to a Ravens team suddenly on thin ice with regards to playoff qualification.
The first Lions interim head coach in 15 years, Darrell Bevell will have five games to run the team. While it should be expected the Lions go in a different direction when they make a full-time hire in 2021, Bevell said team president Rod Wood informed him he is not out of the picture for the permanent gig, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). Although Bevell was a Matt Patricia hire, the former Seahawks offensive coordinator did not join the Lions until Patricia’s second season. Prior to Bevell spending seven seasons as Seattle’s OC, he oversaw the Vikings’ Brett Favre offenses and held that job for five seasons. His latest offense ranks 20th, though it has been without Kenny Golladay for a big chunk of the season.
Here is the latest from the North divisions:
Mike Zimmer replaced defensive coordinator George Edwards by dividing the DC duties between his son (Adam Zimmer) and Andre Patterson. But the Vikings HC wanted a more experienced hand in the room, even before Edwards’ exit. Prior to Edwards’ 2020 departure, Mike Zimmer wanted to hire his former boss — ex-Bengals HC Marvin Lewis — as a defensive assistant, Dan Pompei of The Athletic notes (subscription required). This interest came in 2019, and Zimmer sought Lewis for a part-time role, Pompei adds. Lewis ended up on Herm Edwards‘ Arizona State staff, in an advisory role, last year and is now the Sun Devils’ co-defensive coordinator.
Robert Griffin III indeed suffered a hamstring pull in the Ravens‘ Wednesday loss to the Steelers, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. He is not expected to practice when Baltimore reconvenes for workouts. The earliest Lamar Jackson could practice would be Sunday, which would give the Ravens starter one full practice and a Monday walkthrough in advance of a Tuesday return against the Cowboys. It is not known if Jackson will be ready by then, but he will be eligible to return after testing positive for the coronavirus on Nov. 26.
Joe Burrow underwent surgery on his injured knee Wednesday, the Bengals announced in a brief statement. The No. 1 overall pick suffered ACL and MCL tears as well as other structural damage. He is not expected to be ready to return until around the start of next season.
Seeking kicker insurance in the COVID-19 era, the Packers worked out Roberto Aguayo, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. The Packers, who have used Mason Crosby as their kicker since 2007, do not have a kicker on their practice squad currently. Aguayo has not caught on with a team since the Chargers cut him in 2018; the former second-round pick has not kicked in a game since his 2016 rookie season.
Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is drawing trade interest from other teams, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Griffin is due $2MM in 2020, though that sum is completely non-guaranteed.
Griffin, 30, currently serves as the backup to superstar QB Lamar Jackson. It’s surprising to hear that the Ravens would entertain trades for him, though it’s possible that they would like to add to their draft stockpile while replacing him with another QB2. If the Ravens move on from Griffin and do not sign or draft another signal caller, they’d be left with Penn State product Trace McSorley as Jackson’s backstop.
Last year, Griffin was called upon to start in the season finale against the Jets. The Ravens won that game 28-10, though Griffin completed just over half of his pass attempts.
Griffin won the Heisman Trophy at Baylor and looked the part of a future NFL megastar in his rookie season with the Redskins. Health issues sidetracked him afterwards. No one expects Griffin to reprise his 2012 campaign, but he still holds lots of value for NFL teams.
Developments over the past few days point to another complicated Odell Beckham Jr. offseason, but the Pro Bowler’s top Browns confidant does not believe he’s angling for a Cleveland departure. Multiple reports linked Beckham to being dissatisfied with his fit in the Browns’ offense, but Jarvis Landry said (video link via cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot) Thursday his longtime friend is not seeking to leave the team next year. Landry has outperformed Beckham this season, despite the latter being regarded as one of the game’s premier receivers and costing far more in a trade than the ex-Dolphin did. Beckham and Baker Mayfield have yet to form a reliable connection. It appears the Browns and their highest-profile player have a long way to go to ensure they are on the same page.
Heading into the Ravens’ opportunity to clinch their sixth AFC North title, is the latest from the AFC North:
Should the 11-2 Ravens win their next two games, they can lock up home-field advantage for the first time in franchise history. If that happens, do not expect Lamar Jackson to play in Week 17. If they can beat the Jets and Browns, the Ravens are expected to start Robert Griffin III in Week 17 against the Steelers, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (Twitter link). This would certainly stand to aid the Steelers’ playoff hopes. RG3 has not started a game since 2016.
Speaking of the Steelers, they may not be able to afford Bud Dupree in free agency. Pittsburgh is unlikely to agree to terms on a long-term deal that would keep the improving outside linebacker off the market, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. The Steelers could tag Dupree for nearly $16MM but do not have much cap space to make that work. (Though, they managed to work around similar constraints in tagging Le’Veon Bell twice.) The 2015 first-round pick has recorded a career-high (by far) 9.5 sacks this season.
The Steelers will attempt to keep nose tackle Javon Hargrave off the market, Dulac adds. Though, the fourth-year defensive lineman is expected to hit the market. Pittsburgh is projected to possess barely $5MM in cap space in 2020. The franchise’s propensity for restructuring deals notwithstanding, the team will face a difficult task extending Hargrave and Dupree before free agency opens.
July 27th, 2019 at 10:03pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Patriots exec Nick Caserio addressed the media today for the first time since the Texans’ ill-fated attempt to make him their general manager. Caserio dodged most of the questions, but while he outwardly expressed commitment to the Patriots, the press “session did nothing to kill the belief that Caserio isn’t happy with the way things played out,” writes Tom Curran of NBC Sports. “I love being here, and right now we’re focused on trying to get the team ready for this season. I’m happy to be here and I love what I do on a day-to-day basis,” Caserio said when asked if he was disappointed with the way things played out.
If he really is unhappy, fortunately he won’t have to wait too long. Caserio’s contract with the Patriots expires after the 2020 draft, and the Texans are widely expected to make another run at him then. Asked whether he wants to run a team some day, he did his best Bill Belichick impression. “I’m not really focused on the hypotheticals. I’m focused on today. Honestly, I’m focused on trying to be the best version of myself each and every day,” he said. It sounds like the Caserio/Patriots partnership is just waiting to end.
Here’s more from around the AFC on a busy Saturday:
There was a lot of panic earlier today when A.J. Green went down with a lower leg injury and had to be carted off at Bengals practice. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear it’s as bad as it could’ve been. The injury is believed to be an ankle sprain, sources told Albert Breer of SI.com, “but Green will have an MRI to make sure it isn’t something more serious.” The Bengals have already had bad injury luck this offseason, with projected starting left tackle Jonah Williams getting knocked out for the year, and this the last thing they needed. Green was hampered by injuries last year, and limited to nine games due to recurrent toe problems. If the Bengals are going to have any success under first-year coach Zac Taylor, they need Green at 100 percent.
Green wasn’t the only notable AFC North player to go down on Saturday. Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III “has a small fracture in his thumb,” sources told Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll be sidelined for a while, but the team is “still optimistic he’ll be ready for Week One.” Griffin injured his thumb when it banged against a defender’s helmet toward the end of Baltimore’s practice, Zrebiec explained in a separate tweet. Starter Lamar Jackson and rookie Trace McSorley are now the only two healthy quarterbacks on the roster, so the Ravens will likely be adding another passer in the next day or two.
While the Jaguars doled out by far the biggest contract to a free agent quarterback this offseason, their pre-Nick Foles plans look to have featured Robert Griffin III.
At multiple junctures last season, Jacksonville attempted to acquire the former offensive rookie of the year from Baltimore. The Jags attempted to trade for Griffin at the end of the 2018 preseason and made another bid to land the Ravens reserve at the trade deadline, Griffin said during an appearance on the Ravens’ The Lounge podcast (via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley).
Leading up to free agency, the Jaguars were heavily linked to Foles. But Griffin still waited until that deal was done to sign his two-year, $4MM Ravens contract.
“We knew that was an opportunity and there’d be a chance if things didn’t work out with Nick Foles,” Griffin said. “We just wanted to wait and see what would happen.”
Additionally, the 29-year-old passer said this offseason he discussed a deal with the Dolphins, who were in on multiple other free agent passers who spent all or most of 2018 as backups. Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater ended up accepting offers to continue has backups, Taylor with the Chargers and Bridgewater with the Saints. Miami pivoted to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Griffin will return to be Lamar Jackson‘s backup after sitting behind both Jackson and Joe Flacco for most of last season.
“I ultimately felt like those situations weren’t good,” said Griffin, who noted he discussed deals with other teams as well, of possible fits with other teams. “I’m not looking to go somewhere and be a bridge or be there for a season and go somewhere else. I’m looking for stability and opportunity. For me right now, Baltimore is the best situation.”
The Jaguars indeed possessed one of the league’s worst quarterback situations last season, benching Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler and then giving Bortles the reins back during a 5-11 season. They since cut the disappointing former top-five pick. Both Flacco and Jackson were healthy for the Ravens at the deadline, with Flacco’s hip injury not sidelining him until November, yet the eventual AFC North champions kept Griffin.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has not started a game since doing so for the 2016 Browns. He did not play in 2017. After being a cut or trade candidate during the preseason, Griffin made the Ravens’ 53-man roster last year and threw six passes.