- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Robert Griffin III is back.

And he won’t be far — geographically, at least — from the Washington Redskins.

Griffin agreed to a one-year deal Wednesday with the Baltimore Ravens after he spent the entire 2017 season on the sidelines. The former Redskins starter will compete for the Ravens‘ backup role, as Joe Flacco is entrenched as the starter.

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But Baltimore is an opportunity for Griffin to get back in the league. Griffin made more noise off the field in 2017, trading barbs with receiver Santana Moss and emphasizing his side of the Mike Shanahan fallout.

He worked out for the Los Angeles Chargers last summer, but did not agree to a deal. In December, Griffin told ESPN he turned down offers just before the preseason from the Ravens and the Arizona Cardinals because he didn’t think the timing was right.

Griffin last played in 2016, where he started five games for the Cleveland Browns. He is the last Browns quarterback to have won a game for the franchise, too. The Browns went 0-16 last year.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh classified the deal as a “steal.” Baltimore announced the deal at a pre-draft press conference Wednesday.

“He’ll speak to this, but I feel like he really wanted to be a Raven,” Harbaugh said. “It just felt like this was the place for him. Our players are going to love the fact that he’s here. They like him as a person. And it makes us a better football team.”

Baltimore brought Griffin in for a workout last week. Harbaugh said Griffin looked “really good” and confident. The Ravens needed a backup quarterback with journeyman Ryan Mallett a free agent. They also explored adding him when Flacco went down with a back injury during training camp last year.

“It felt like we needed a No. 2 quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “We needed a guy, and you look at the veteran quarterbacks out there — Where we’re at right now, I’m pretty excited about this player.”

After leading the Redskins to a playoff berth his rookie year, Griffin had a messy divorce from Washington. He was cut in March 2016 after losing his starting job multiple times to both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. Before then, Griffin and the coaching staff, under both Shanahan and Jay Gruden, never saw eye-to-eye.

The Redskins traded three draft picks — two first-rounders and a second-rounder — to acquire the second overall pick in 2012, in which they used to select Griffin.

Griffin,28, went 14-21 as a starter in Washington, throwing 40 touchdowns to 28 interceptions. His best year came in 2012, where he won offensive rookie of the year and helped the Redskins clinch the NFC East. That season, he threw for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions.

But Griffin tore his ACL during the team’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. He was never the same after the injury, and tension between Griffin and the Shanahans spilled into the the media.

Griffin couldn’t stay healthy in the following seasons. He was shutdown for the last three games over health concerns in 2013, dislocated his ankle in 2014, suffered a concussion in 2015 and separated his shoulder in 2016.

There’s a chance Griffin could play the Redskins in the preseason. Typically, the Ravens and the Redskins meet in the preseason, having met last year in Week 1.

“#PlayLiikeARaven” Griffin tweeted.


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