The Baltimore Ravens made big news Wednesday morning when they announced the signing of quarterback Robert Griffin III to a one-year deal.
Along with wide receivers and tight ends, the backup quarterback position is one of the glaring needs for the Ravens this off-season and this signing is a step in filling that void.
Griffin III last played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns in 2016, starting in five games before being cut in March 2017. RGIII was close to signing with the Ravens during training camp before the 2017 regular season. He later made this statement as to why he declined to sign at that time.
“Baltimore was just, they offered me a contract right before the first preseason game, to start against the Redskins. Selfishly, I could have taken that, to go play against them, but I knew I wouldn’t have been ready with that offense, with those guys, to put my best foot forward.”
-Robert Griffin III in December 2017
If this signing feels nostalgic, there’s a reason for it. The Ravens may be responsible for the beginning of the end of Griffin III’s high rising career. It was in a 2012 regular season game when former Raven Haloti Ngata finished a tackle against the scrambling quarterback. The hit sparked a debate as to rather it was clean or dirty, however, Ngata received no discipline from the league. RGIII suffered a LCL sprain on the play, but returned to the game. That LCL sprain turned into a torn ACL and LCL during the Redskins wild-card playoff matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Joe Flacco is expected to return as the Ravens starter in his 11th season in 2018, however, his decrease in production since his Super Bowl XLVII MVP performance has increased the urgency to look towards the future as Baltimore has missed the playoffs for the past three seasons.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome also confirmed that the Griffin III signing did not mean the team won’t look at drafting a quarterback with the 16th pick in this month’s NFL Draft.