Can Robert Griffin III and Cleveland Save Each Other?

25. That number marks the quarter of a century. That number marks the legal age limit to access a rental car. That number also marks the amount of quarterbacks the Cleveland Browns have started since returning to the NFL in 1999. The latest addition to that long list of futility is Robert Griffin III, 2012 AP Rookie of the Year.

The Browns have had QBs that thrived in college like Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel, and quarterbacks who had no business starting on an NFL team, like Thaddeus Lewis, Ken Dorsey and Luke McCown. But Griffin plans to be much more consistent and productive than the 24 previous play-callers that came before him this time around.

Griffin’s NFL career started off on a very high note, as he won Rookie of the Year and led his then team, the Washington Redskins, to their first division title in 13 years. That season came to a gruesome end, as the Redskins were bounced from the playoffs by the Seattle Seahawks and in the process Robert Griffin III tore his ACL, in an attempt to pick up a mishap. Griffin’s tenure in Washington was never the same. 

Griffin’s career began to take a downward slope after the 2012 season. After throwing for 20 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions in 2012, Griffin would throw for a combined 20 touchdowns in 2013 and 2014, while also throwing 18 interceptions in those two years. 2014 also began with another injury that would put him on the sideline for a while, a broken ankle suffered against the Jaguars in week 2.

2015 was a year Griffin III would probably like to forget, because he was not allowed to do anything else but watch as Kirk Cousins led the Redskins to the playoffs. Griffin only dressed up in uniform for one game during the season and was not allowed to talk to media at all during the 2015 season.

Enduring a fast fall from grace after being the proclaimed saviour in Washington, D.C. just three years earlier, Griffin is now starting all over in Cleveland, which may not be a better location from him. Coming from a disastrous season off the field with former quarterback Johnny Manziel and the release of safety Donte Whitner, the Browns are in dire need of something similar to stability. The Browns were ranked 25th in offense last season and 21st in passing yards per game, something that first year coach Hue Jackson and Robert Griffin III would like to improve this upcoming season.

Griffin made his first appearance in Dawg Pound country with a confident mindset. “I’m not trying to let any baggage hold me down from the past, but I do have a massive chip on my shoulder. I know this team has a massive chip on its shoulder, he said during a recent press conference. Griffin also left press with a familiar phrase that Redskins fans have heard before.

There is nothing that Griffin can do about his tenure in Washington, excpept learn from it. If he can play like he did in 2012, the Cleveland Browns may have some stability behind center for the first time since their return to the NFL and maybe even hopes of seeing the playoffs again for the first time since 2002.

But if 2013-2014 Robert Griffin decides to show up, then the Browns may be in trouble once again with the play caller.