Mark maske (c) 2014, The Washington Post. The benching of quarterback Robert Griffin III opens the possibility that the Washington Redskins could opt to move on and end the Griffin era in D.C. in the offseason.
If that happens, what are the possible landing spots for Griffin?
Keeping in mind that the draft and free agency figure to have an impact on the market for Griffin: Here are nine possibilities, in no particular order of likelihood.
New York Jets
It has become pretty clear that neither Geno Smith nor Michael Vick is the answer for the Jets at QB. The question, though, is: Who will be making the future QB decisions for the organization? Coach Rex Ryan almost certainly will be fired and GM John Idzik could be ousted as well.
EJ Manuel was benched this season in favor of Kyle Orton. Will Manuel be given another chance to show he can be the franchise QB?
Would a return to the state in which he starred while in college at Baylor be the sort of change of scenery that would benefit Griffin? The Texans gave Ryan Mallett a two-start QB audition. But now he’s hurt and he is eligible for free agency in the offseason.
Jake Locker wasn’t the answer. It’s not clear whether Zach Mettenberger is. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is a very good offensive mind who perhaps could design a system to make things work for Griffin.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Coach Lovie Smith didn’t show much confidence in second-year pro Mike Glennon by bringing in Josh McCown to be the starter entering the season. It has been made clear this season that Smith faces a significant rebuilding project in Tampa, and bringing in a new QB could be part of that.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams decided in 2012 not to use the second overall pick in the NFL draft on Griffin. They thought they could utilize the picks they could get from the Redskins to build around QB Sam Bradford. But now Bradford is coming back from a second torn ACL in his left knee, and the Rams will have to decide in the offseason whether to stick with him or start over at QB. Maybe they could end up with both Griffin and the Redskins’ draft picks — minus whatever picks it would cost to get Griffin at a reduced 2015 price.
It’s a very good team with a wizard of an offensive coach in Bruce Arians. But there are issues at QB with Carson Palmer’s season-ending torn ACL. The Cardinals potentially could decide in the offseason that Drew Stanton isn’t good enough to be the starter and they don’t want to rely on Palmer’s comeback bid.
If Coach Chip Kelly can turn Mark Sanchez back into a viable NFL starter at QB, what could he do with Griffin? The Redskins might be wary of sending Griffin to a division rival. But these two franchises teamed up for one QB trade when Donovan McNabb went from Philadelphia to Washington. Never say never in the NFL.
Tony Romo’s back won’t hold up forever. He’s 34. Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones has been a big Griffin admirer in the past and it pained him to have to pass up Johnny Manziel in this year’s draft.