The Cleveland Browns keep making quarterback-related news.
Less than a day after absorbing Brock Osweiler’s contract from the Houston Texans, the Browns were reportedly set to release Robert Griffin III on Friday. Griffin signed with Cleveland last offseason to start at QB for the Browns after his release by the Washington Redskins, which drafted Griffin with the second overall pick in 2012.
On Friday’s episode of The Herd, Nick Wright and Cris Carter reacted to the latest news out of Cleveland, with the Hall of Fame wide receiver explaining why Griffin never made it in the National Football League:
NICK: “Is there an alternate path for him where in that playoff game his rookie year, he doesn’t blow out his knee, that he is still the RGIII we saw that rookie year? Or was this style of play, in your eyes, never going to work?”
CRIS: “Well, we’ve only seen a couple people be successful at it. Michael Vick, did we think he was going to be a better scrambler than Michael Vick? Michael Vick was the greatest scrambler we had seen since Randall Cunningham.
“But people forget, late in Randall Cunningham’s career, when I thought he had the most success was in Minnesota, when he was what? He was a pocket passer. So if you want to be successful in this league long-term compared to a short window, two to four years, you have to learn to be able to operate from the pocket.”
With RGIII's release, 21 of 32 picks from 2012 1st round have either changed teams, are out of football, suspended, or unsigned free agents.
NICK: “And RGIII, the thing is, maybe he could have learned, because he had a cannon. He was the best deep-ball thrower as a college quarterback that I can remember. But he couldn’t stay healthy, and he was always running.”
CRIS: “And health is one thing, but there’s another thing in the NFL. You can’t play without confidence, and the more you get hit, the less confidence you have. If you want to send a message to the opposition in the NFL, there’s one way to do it: Hit the quarterback. Because the hits to the quarterback, they reverberate through the team, and the team can feel it.
“So eventually, your quarterback has less confidence. And that’s what we saw with RGIII, which we saw with all the great quarterbacks. When they get hit, the great become average, and the average become pathetic.”
Griffin completed 59.2 percent of his throws for 886 yards in five games with the Browns in 2016 before a fractured bone in his left shoulder forced him to miss the remainder of the season. Cleveland was 1-4 with Griffin as the starting quarterback this season.
Griffin famously played through a significant right knee injury — at the end of his rookie season with the Redskins. His sprained right LCL became a bigger problem when he re-injured the knee in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, and he underwent surgery on both his LCL and ACL following Washington’s postseason exit.
For his career, Griffin has averaged 213.9 yards per game passing and completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 42 TDs and 26 INTs. He ran for 815 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, averaging 6.1 yards per rushing attempt in his four-year career.