- - Thursday, March 24, 2016

Well, now that Robert Griffin III has signed with the Cleveland Browns — one of the Washington Redskins home opponents on this coming season’s schedule — this has to happen:

The Browns come running out of the visitor’s tunnel. The sold out crowd is on its feet, trying to get a look at their former franchise savior. But he is no where to be seen.

Then, dramatically, all alone — RGIII comes running out of the tunnel carrying a Browns flag. He runs onto the field and kneels down, with the flag planted in the ground.

That’s one scenario.

Here’s another — he gets hurt carrying the flag.

Another scenario — one of his teammates who already can’t stand him hits him with the flag while they’re waiting in the tunnel.

It’s all in play. With SuperBob, the possibilities are limitless.

Griffin signed a two-year deal with the Browns that is reportedly worth $15 million, with $6.75 million guaranteed, with $7 million incentives. He got paid pretty well for a guy who was the third quarterback on the 9-7 Redskins last season.

Of course, it is Cleveland, where any quarterback is going to get combat pay on top of the typical market value.

Griffin, if we are to believes Bleacher Report, chose Cleveland — the franchise that has replaced the Redskins as the most dysfunctional in the league — over the 10 to 15 teams that had expressed interest in him.

Then again, maybe one of those teams was Ted Leonsis’ new Arena Football League team.

For this to work, two significant things have to change — the Browns and Griffin.

The Browns have been a disaster since the new version of the franchise was born in 1999 after the former Browns franchise moved to Baltimore three years earlier and became the Ravens. So you would have to say that a dramatic change in the Browns organization is a long shot.

Has Griffin changed? Is he no longer the quarterback that his coach here in Washington, Jay Gruden, said in 2014, after a 27-7 loss to Tampa, “His footwork was below average. He took three-step drops when he should have taken five. He took a one-step drop when he should have taken three, on a couple occasions, and that can’t happen. He stepped up when he didn’t have to step up and stepped into pressure. He read the wrong side of the field a couple times. So from his basic performance just critiquing Robert it was not even close to being good enough to what we expect from the quarterback position.”

And this: “His biggest thing, he’s been coddled for so long. It’s not a negative, he’s just been so good, he just hasn’t had a lot of negative publicity. Everybody’s loved him.”

This from the guy who just recently declared the issues with Griffin inside Redskins Park were overblown by the media.

All that has to change, along with a change in the Browns way of doing business, for Griffin in Cleveland to have any outcome other than abject failure.

Browns coach Hue Jackson is counting on change. “I heard the truth,” Jackson said at the AFC coaches’ breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. “I mean, he takes responsibility. He knows there’s things he could have done better. And that’s where he is. To me that showed the humbleness. Because that’s what it’s all about. In this league you don’t grow if you don’t admit that you’ve made some mistakes.”

Here’s some advice, Hue — keep him away from your owner, you know, the owner who may have overruled his front office two years ago and drafted Johnny Manziel.

The humbleness that Jackson found in Griffin may be a newfound virtue. It was not his parting message to the Redskins when, upon cleaning out his locker, left behind a postcard handed out to players earlier this season, prominently displayed for all to see. The postcard, based on “The Paradoxical Commandments,” included some of the following passages:

“People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.”

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

“If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”

If we are to believe Jackson, Griffin left the victim persona back at Ashburn.


“What happened there (Washington) would break a lot of people,” Griffin told the Browns media in a conference call.

He doesn’t have to worry about being a victim anymore. Robert Griffin III has found a new home, with a coach who understands him better than Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden.

“If he (Jackson) didn’t believe in what I can do, he wouldn’t have brought me to Cleveland with him,” said Griffin, the new flag bearer for the Cleveland Browns.

• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 and espn980.com.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide