When the Ravens signed Robert Griffin III to a one-year deal this past offseason, he was originally expected to serve in a backup role to Joe Flacco. However, that plan changed when Baltimore selected Lamar Jackson in the first round of the draft.
Griffin III quickly found himself on the roster bubble, especially given that the Ravens almost never keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. However, Griffin III’s impressive preseason showing and veteran leadership earned him a spot.
The 28-year old was inactive for the first nine weeks of the season before Joe Flacco suffered a hip injury. Then, he served as Jackson’s primary backup until Flacco returned. Griffin III appeared briefly in games against the Falcons and Chiefs when Jackson went down with injury, completing a combined two of six passes for 21 yards.
However, with Flacco’s tenure in Baltimore coming to a close, the Ravens will be in need of a backup quarterback heading into next season.
While he’s far from the player he used to be, Griffin III still possesses above-average athleticism at the quarterback position. His play style mirrors that of Jackson, albeit to a lesser extent in terms of rushing.
Truly blessed to be a Raven! These men taught me the meaning of #PlayLikeARaven and the future for the @Ravens is bright! I’m excited for the future whether it’s in Baltimore or competing to start somewhere else in this league. We’ll see what happens. Either way....what a Year! pic.twitter.com/AQ2lCMXqbF— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 7, 2019
In his end-of-the-season interview on Monday, Griffin III expressed his desire to return to Baltimore next season in a backup role.
“I feel I have a good grasp of what this team is trying to do” said Griffin III. “I would love to help Lamar continue to develop, and also be available and ready to play.”
It remains to be seen if the interest is mutual. On the surface, a return to the Ravens certainly seems logical for both sides. By all accounts, he’s been an excellent mentor for Jackson thus far and a total professional.
It’s unclear what sort of market Griffin III will garner in free agency, but the Ravens should have a fairly good chance of retaining him if they desire. Baltimore could opt to select a quarterback in the draft, but it makes more sense to have a veteran presence behind Jackson on the depth chart.
In terms of the free agent crop at the position, there aren’t many viable options. The Ravens will need to bring in a quarterback that fits with the scheme and style of offense that they play with Jackson at the helm.
Therefore, a pure pocket passer with limited mobility is all but out of the question. Of all the upcoming free agents, the only players besides RGIII that seem somewhat realistic are Josh Johnson and Geno Smith.
Tyrod Taylor, a former Raven himself, will also be a free agent this offseason. He could potentially be a good fit but will likely be looking for an opportunity to earn a starting role somewhere, which obviously rules out Baltimore.
The importance of continuity at the quarterback position in today’s NFL cannot be understated. Griffin III was a good fit in Baltimore this past season. Re-signing him to backup Jackson next season makes a lot of sense.