Per head coach Hue Jackson, the Cleveland Browns had “a great meeting” Friday and Saturday with free-agent quarterback Robert Griffin III, which might mean that Griffin is now the leading candidate to take the reins for Cleveland in 2016.
The two might sort of be perfect for each other. The Browns have of course swung at and missed more than a dozen quarterbacks this century, making them as desperate for a franchise pivot as anyone in football. And Griffin of course struck out in Washington, limiting his options on the open market.
The new regime in Cleveland might actually be patient enough to give Griffin time to attempt to recapture the glory from his 2012 offensive rookie of the year season, while a new environment could be just what the doctor ordered for one of the league’s most gifted players.
Griffin wouldn’t necessarily have a lot to work with in Cleveland, but he’d benefit greatly by playing with a stalwart blind-side offensive tackle in Joe Thomas and a security blanket tight end in Gary Barnidge. It’s not a good sign that he struggled to stay healthy, lacked consistency and pocket discipline and was eventually supplanted by Kirk Cousins in Washington, but it should be noted that Griffin appeared to mature quite a bit on the bench in 2015. He’s 26 now and could be better committed to becoming a franchise quarterback. He knows he has the ability, but now he’ll undoubtedly realize that nothing will be handed to him.
If you’re Cleveland, this is a pitch worth swinging at. Griffin won’t be too expensive relative to the quarterback market we’ve seen explode this offseason, and you really haven’t got a lot to lose.