A Possible Destination for RGIII

With the recent news that the Washington Redskins named Kirk Cousins the starting quarterback for the 2015 season, the RGIII era in the nation’s capital may have finally been put to rest. Although head coach Jay Gruden refused to acknowledge it publicly, insisting that Griffin still had a future with the team, the writing has been on the wall for some time now. For Gruden to go back to Griffin now (assuming there are no injuries) could be viewed as a second-year coach yielding to the owners demands. This could lead players to question Gruden’s authority, and eventually cause him to lose the locker room. The fall from grace for Griffin, who was the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, has been well documented. After a terrific rookie season, in which he helped lead the Redskins to a 9-7 record, the NFC East Division crown, and the playoffs; injuries and ineffective play have been a significant part of his downfall in Washington. Instead of looking back, we want to look ahead as to what might become of Griffin’s career and where might he have a chance to revive it. There are a number of opinions out there about where Griffin needs to go and who might be able to reach him and bring out his best. Suggestions that he needs to be with a quarterback friendly coach like Andy Reid in Kansas City, Chip Kelly with the Eagles, or Bruce Arians and the Cardinals are some of the popular options. On the other hand, some are openly questioning whether or not Griffin can ever become the player many projected when he was drafted second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. My belief is that if placed on the right team RGIII can still have a productive career albeit maybe not an All-Pro one, but one where he can contribute to the success of a franchise. The situation in Washington has become too toxic for him to even attempt to rectify, instead Griffin and his representatives need to get him out of there as soon as possible. Griffin has done himself no favors by alienating many of his teammates in the locker room. It would appear Griffin will need to do some soul searching and determine what went wrong in Washington, and see how he can learn from the mistakes he made there. On the field, Griffin needs to go to a franchise where there is a dire need for a quarterback, one that already has someone who is the “face of the franchise”, and where he can blend in and not be the center of attention. My ideal situation for Griffin would be the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been trying to clean up their own mess at quarterback since Jim Kelly retired. The list of various quarterbacks who have taken snaps from center for the Bills includes the likes of Todd Collins, Alex Van Pelt, Doug Flutie, Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, Kyle Orton, and E.J. Manuel. On Monday head Coach Rex Ryan added another name to that prestigious list by naming Tyrod Taylor the starter for this season. The Bills may not be top of mind when it comes to possible future homes for Griffin, but in my opinion they might just be the perfect match. In Head Coach Rex Ryan, RGIII would be playing for a defensive-minded coach for the first time in his career. What Ryan would lack in offensive prowess he more than makes up in charisma, personality, and charm. How this helps Griffin is that Ryan has already taken Buffalo by storm, and has essentially turned the Bills into “His” team. Griffin would not have to deal with the media glare and pressure of being the franchise savior, he would not have to be wary of saying something to the media that could be construed as being controversial or self-promoting. Instead Ryan’s presence and penchant to make bold and sometimes brash statements would help Griffin blend into the background and be - something he has never been before - just another player on the team. In Buffalo Griffin would be surrounded with playmakers at the skill positons such as Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin, Robert Woods, Charles Clay, and a strong running game led by LeSean McCoy. In Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, Griffin would have a coach who is familiar with coordinating an offense structured around a mobile quarterback. Before joining Ryan in Buffalo, Roman helped develop Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco. With that past experience in mind, Roman might be best suited to help Griffin get back to the form he showed his rookie year. With designed rollouts, quick slip screens, and a return to some read option plays, Roman would help limit the need for him to make reads while sitting in the pocket. Some of Griffin’s struggles as a pro, have been reading coverages and decision making while in the pocket. After his injuries the brain trust in Washington wanted to turn him into more of a pocket passer and limit him from having to run out and take unnecessary hits. Instead this hampered him as they went away from Griffin’s strengths, ones he displayed while playing for Art Briles at Baylor, which were utilizing his athleticism and the ability to make plays with his feet. Griffin has a very strong arm and has shown ability to throw on the run and deep with accuracy. With the Bills, Roman would once again have RGIII go back to playing more to his strengths as opposed to his weaknesses. With the defensive unit the Bills are expected to have, the pressure for him to carry the load would no longer be there. Coupled with the strong running game the Bills should have, it would be asking RGIII to do less with more. A divorce in Washington between Griffin and the Redskins is a necessity, no longer can the team and the player coexist. A glaring need at the quarterback position for a franchise looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999 might just be the way to make everyone happy. Although not the sexy or obvious choice, the Buffalo Bills might be THE best choice for Robert Griffin III to help resuscitate a once promising career. Danny Shimon is a graduate of Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp.  Follow Danny on Twitter @dshimon56
Danny Shimon
NFPost Scouting 101 & Scouting Seminar Graduate. Bears writer for www.windy-citysport.com

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