Opinion: What the signing of RG3 really means for the Browns

Ty Sugick

Last week the Cleveland Browns and former Baylor University standout quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3), agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal. Out of the $15 million, only $6.75 million is guaranteed money. The rest will be in roster bonuses and play incentives.

The deal was a success for both parties because it gives RG3 one last opportunity to revitalize his NFL career; after his hot welcome to the NFL in his rookie season quickly fizzled out in his sophomore and third year performances.

As for the Browns, they gain a quarterback who has led a team before and has quality starts and wins under his belt for a very reasonable price. The Browns usually still overpay for guys on their way out of the NFL, with the last example coming in free agent Dwayne Bowe.

The deal makes Griffin the 23rd highest-paid quarterback in the league, according to ESPN. Put that in comparison to the Chase Daniel deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he is guaranteed $12 million over three years and could make up to $21 million with incentives.

Daniel is a stopgap quarterback (much like Griffin is for the Browns), but the Eagles decided to overpay for a guy with only one passing touchdown in his career. RG3 has thrown for over 8,000 yards and yields a career 90.6 percent passer rating. In comparison to the Eagles, the Browns seem to have a better grasp on reality for a change.

Besides the numbers and contracts, the signing of RG3 shows that the Cleveland Browns front office might have their heads pointed in the right direction. After a very slow start to free agency, he will be the first stepping stone into making the team successful. Although most big names are off the free agency board, there is still plenty of talent left that could give the Browns a major upgrade in certain areas especially wide receiver.

The signing of RG3 also gives the Browns leeway on draft day, as originally it looked as the team’s hands were forced to pick either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff at No.2, but now with a stopgap guy, they can trade back and take a guy such as Laquon Treadwell or a top notch pass rusher then attack a project quarterback such as Cardale Jones in the middle rounds.

To be clear, the signing of RG3 does not make the Browns a better team. Nor does it provide them with any more wins or losses. He is a veteran guy who can give the team quality starts for the next couple of years, if his knees will allow it, until the project guy – whomever that may be – is ready.

It is a calculated risk that won’t leave fans bitter if it does not work out. It’s something the organization has never been willing to take until now. RG3 should be a breath of fresh air for the “Dawg Pound.”

Ty Sugick is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]