CLEVELAND (AP) – Robert Griffin III is getting a chance to revive a career that once seemed bound for glory but was abruptly derailed by injury and discord.
One of the NFL’s brightest and flashiest stars just a few years ago, Griffin signed Thursday with the Cleveland Browns, a franchise on a perpetual mission to find a quarterback who can restore the team to respectability.
Griffin hasn’t been the same since his dazzling 2012 rookie season in Washington, but the Browns are taking a chance he can still lead on and off the field. The former Baylor star and Heisman Trophy winner met with the Browns last week and they will now give him the opportunity to win their starting job and resurrect his career.
“We are excited about Robert joining the Cleveland Browns,” new coach Hue Jackson said. “He brings starting experience to our team and organization. He’s a young, athletic, talented passer and he’s really just starting out in this league. Just like every player on our team, Robert will have to earn every opportunity he gets. He will compete with the rest of the quarterbacks on our roster and he helps improve our QB room, which was one of my goals upon taking the job.”
Cleveland has started 24 quarterbacks since 1999 and the team is expected to select one with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. That rookie – possibly California’s Jared Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz – will compete with Griffin, the second selection in 2012. Jackson and other members of the Browns attended Wentz’s pro day Thursday in North Dakota.
The Browns recently released quarterback Johnny Manziel, a player they once hoped would solve their problems but whose on-the-field inconsistency and off-the-field behavior issues proved insurmountable.
Griffin, a dual threat with his arm and legs, led the Redskins to the NFC East title in his first season before seriously injuring a knee in the playoffs. He also had a falling out with Washington’s coaches and he was demoted all the way to third string last season before the Redskins released him March 7.