If he does, it won’t be in Washington. Griffin was officially released by the team on Tuesday.
It is the end of a free fall from superstardom for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, who lit up the National Football League his rookie season, throwing 20 touchdown passes and rushing for more than 800-yards, while leading Washington to the playoffs.
Griffin seemed to be worth the three, first-round picks, and the second-round pick, Washington gave up to move from the No. 6 spot to No. 2 spot in order to draft him.
However, that sensational rookie year would be all Washington would get from that move. From there, all things went downhill. It started with a knee injury that would become a constant problem, then a change of offensive philosophy designed to keeping him in the pocket more, and finally a coaching change, the firing of Mike Shanahan, and the hiring of Jay Gruden.
For whatever the reason, Griffin failed to handle any of those issues. He tried to comeback too early _ or he was forced back early _ from the knee injury. He is not an efficient pocket passer, and Gruden was not impressed with Griffin’s play, his leadership, or work ethic.
It wasn’t all Griffin’s fault. Washington handled him poorly, allowing him to dictate too much, and they coached him up, poorly. Finally, the production wasn’t there and Curt Cousins ran the new offense under Gruden better, and earned the starting position.
Despite the debacle in D.C., there is no reason why Griffin can’t be a competent NFL quarterback. However, he has work to do.
The first step in Griffin becoming a relevant NFL player again is admitting his mistakes. He has had an entire year to get healthy, and hopefully he took the practice time and meeting time to refine his craft.
The dynamic, playmaking quarterback we saw his rookie season, does not exist anymore. He will have to be a different kind of player, because injuries have robbed Griffin of his superior mobility and athleticism. Now, he is probably still more athletic than most NFL QBs, but that extra gear that made him different is gone.
Besides, a great athlete at the quarterback position isn’t nearly good enough to sustain a career in the NFL, or at any other position for that matter. He has to develop the other aspects of the position. He has to read defenses better, which ultimately means preparing harder, and become more effective throwing from the pocket.
He would be wise to watch Seattle’s Russell Wilson. He is an athletic quarterback who consistently makes good decisions in regards to getting out of the pocket with the option of throwing or running.
There are a lot of places Griffin could go. He is better than the starting quarterbacks in Houston, New York Jets, and Cleveland, for sure. There are other places he could go in as a backup, and possibly start after time. But a lot of that is going to be on how Robert Griffin handles his next opportunity.
I hope it works out for RGIII, because he is walking a fine line. He is as close to being a bust, as he is an NFL quarterback.