Robert Griffin III, once one of the league’s rising young stars, is a free agent once again. The dual-threat, oft-injured quarterback is reportedly getting released by the Cleveland Browns just a day after the team traded for Brock Osweiler.
The money-saving move ends Griffin’s disappointing tenure in Cleveland. He played only five games with the Browns, but won one more game (one) than the rest of the team’s starting passers. He was due to count $8.7 million against the team’s salary cap this fall, a raise from the $5.2 million he had cost in 2016.
For more than $1 million per appearance, the Browns got a passer with a 72.5 rating — worse than every starting quarterback in the league but Osweiler and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Griffin was brought to Cleveland in hopes of reviving his career and a moribund franchise. Neither came to fruition.
From a physical standpoint, McDowell might be the most singularly gifted player in this year’s draft. At 6’6 and 295 pounds, McDowell can line up all over the place and he has the athleticism to be a star. It’s just a question of whether or not he’ll work to actualize his obvious talent.
Here’s the situation NFL teams will consider when the draft happens. Do you take McDowell because you love his size and potential? Or do you wait a round or two and see if you can get Villanova’s Tanoh Kpassagnon, who has nearly identical size and athleticism, but comes from a small school and is maybe a little less refined of a player? The question about effort may be the tiebreaker.