Do the Ravens Still Need Robert Griffin III to Back up Lamar Jackson?
Robert Griffin III has been Lamar Jackson’s backup quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens for two seasons, but some NFL teams seem to think he could be a successful starter again.
According to Ian Rapoport, RGIII has been one of the hottest names in the trade market as we approach the new league year beginning March 18. Griffin is owed $2 million by the Ravens this season if he stays with the team.
Griffin last entered an NFL season as the starting quarterback in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns. RGIII started five games for Cleveland and went 1-4.
Robert Griffin III’s injury history is troubling
Injuries have been a major theme of Griffin’s eight-year career. Griffin started 28 games in his first two seasons combined, but he’s started just 13 games in the six years since.
His most notable injury came in the 2013 Wild Card game of Griffin’s rookie year. After a promising Rookie of the Year campaign, RGIII buckled his knee against the Seattle Seahawks and tore his LCL, ACL, and meniscus in one devastating play.
Griffin was never the same player.
He returned for the start of year two, but his play declined significantly. He hurt his knee again in week 8. In 2014, he suffered a dislocated ankle in week 2 and missed eight games.
Griffin then missed the entirety of 2015 and signed with the Browns following the season. He preceded to injure his shoulder in Week 1 and was placed on the injured reserve list.
Even with all of his injury baggage, RGIII has been healthy for a full two seasons with the Ravens. Maybe his time off the field lately has refreshed him enough to handle the workload of a starter again.
Which teams could trade for RGIII?
Trading for Griffin would be a risky move for any General Manager, but his $2 million salary is a bargain and the upside could be huge if he can stay healthy.
The Chicago Bears jump out immediately as a contender.
The Bears have an elite defense and plenty of skill players on the offensive side of the ball, but Mitch Trubisky has not delivered the way he was expected to as their top pick of the 2017 draft. Griffin could step in right away as an upgrade to the quarterback position. Chicago has the roster depth to be a contender in 2020, and RGIII could push them over the top.
Another team looking to upgrade at quarterback is the Indianapolis Colts. Jacoby Brissett is still the starter, but he had his issues with injuries last season. The Colts have one of the league’s best offensive lines, which is paramount to Griffin avoiding hits and staying healthy.
And what about the New England Patriots? Tom Brady might not be back in 2020, so the Pats will be scrambling to find a veteran starter if Brady does decide to sign elsewhere. If anyone could revive Griffin’s career, it would be Bill Belichick.
Would the Ravens want to get rid of RGIII?
Robert Griffin III has been a reliable backup for Baltimore in his two seasons with the team. He’s appeared in 10 games for the Ravens and even won his only start. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes last season for 225 total yards.
By trading Griffin, the Ravens would be left with Trace McSorley as their next backup. McSorley is yet to attempt a pass in the NFL, so head coach John Harbaugh can’t feel comfortable with such an inexperienced player as his only safety net.
The way Lamar Jackson plays will always leave himself vulnerable to injury, so having a capable backup is more important for the Ravens than maybe any other team in the league. Griffin knows this offense and would be able to fill in for Jackson just fine.
At $2 million, it’s a bargain to keep Griffin on the roster behind Jackson. Unless the Ravens are blown away with a trade offer, RGIII should be back in black and purple in 2020.