Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III will get a chance to prove himself during the final four weeks of the 2016 season, but it will not be enough to win the job in 2017.
After an 0-12 start to the season, the Cleveland Browns are seeking some magic from the opening day starting quarterback, who has only appeared in one game this season.
Robert Griffin III should be back on the field Sunday to take on the Cincinnati Bengals, continuing the recycling process of Browns quarterbacks. Yet while the constant turnover at the position is frustrating, Griffin may be the team’s only hope.
Josh McCown and Cody Kessler have been unable to piece together a complete game this season, although both have been dealing with injuries since stepping into action. And considering Hue Jackson selected Griffin to open the season, he must have seen something that warranted such a move.
Griffin’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 wasn’t great, but we know now just how bad this team is. Perhaps if he stayed healthy, Jackson could have set up a game plan that would have defeated the Miami Dolphins, or at least the lowly New York Jets.
And given he can stay healthy, which is a big question, Griffin should be slated to start all of the final four games, with it essentially being a tryout for next season.
But even if he does the improbable and wins three or four games, it would be hard to see the Browns sticking with Griffin as the starter next season. He was brought in to be a bridge between the beginning of the rebuild to its next stage, when a quarterback can be drafted and expected to succeed given the foundation in place.
The only way he would have held the job is if he stayed healthy all year and led the team to seven or eight wins, but even that isn’t enough sometimes. Just ask Brian Hoyer.
So while Griffin will be playing for a job in 2017, it may not be for the Browns’ starting job. With two first-round picks, and both potentially in the top-10, the Browns are set up to take a quarterback who will be trusted to lead this team to greatness.
It is a familiar narrative, but every front office gets their guy, so it is time for this group to get theirs and see how it turns out.
It is nothing personal against Griffin, but he has proven to be too injury-prone to be trusted as a starting quarterback for an entire season. He may get a shot with another team, but it is time for the Browns to move on in 2017.