Early on the morning of November 26th, news broke that the Redskins had elected to start Colt McCoy this Sunday against Indianapolis over Robert Griffin. This announcement really does two things: It completely wrecks my fantasy team (don’t ask why I had him) and it also all but ends the RG3 era in Washington. At the 2012 NFL Draft, the Redskins ponied up a kings ransom to trade into the #2 Overall slot to select Griffin, and for a while it paid off. He was terrific his rookie season and guided the Skins to the playoffs. But then the injuries started, and all of a sudden, the rookie of the year couldn’t stay healthy. After throwing 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions his rookie season, Griffin has thrown only 18 touchdowns to 16 interceptions the past two seasons in which he’s missed 9 games. Washington does have the option to pick up an 18.4 million dollar extension until the 2016 season, but it seems unlikely that they would pay that much for a guy they don’t even consider a starter. You know it’s bad when you’ve ben benched in favor of Colt freaking McCoy. This doesn’t mean RGIII is done though. Plenty of teams need quarterbacks, and would easily take the bait of Griffin’s potential and pick him up. Let’s take a look now at who those teams are.
The Bills aren’t a bad team by any means, but quarterback isn’t exactly their strongest position. E.J. Manuel has struggled mightily in his first two seasons, and in fact has lost the job to journeyman Kyle Orton this year. Now Buffalo could very easily just try to help Manuel improve, but it’s been a long period of struggle in Buffalo, and the addition of RGIII could significantly boost their team. They already have two good running backs in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller though health is a concern for both. They have a dynamic playmaker in Sammy Watkins and one of the best defensive lines in football. The addition of a playmaking quarterback could be just what the doctor ordered in Buffalo to help them get over the hump in the AFC.
New York Jets:
There isn’t an English word to describe how incredibly terrible the Jets are. How on earth did these guys manage to beat Pittsburgh? Anyway, the Jets need a whole team makeover from top to bottom maybe excluding a couple players like Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Where’s a great place to start? Quarterback! Now, the Jets could very easily go into the draft and go after Mariota or Winston or Hundley, but why do that when you can address the position via free agency, and then use the draft pick to address one of your 8 million other gaping holes. RG3 wouldn’t be able to make an impact immediately, but over time there is a very real chance he could help reconstruct the Jets. This team does have a couple of pieces to build around and it certainly appears they will be getting some high draft picks in the near future. And at the end of the day, as much as Griffin fumbles I think he could likely avoid having an offensive linemen’s rear end knock the ball lose. And that by Jets standards, is all you need to do to be a starting QB.
I really believe the Texans are a quarterback away from being a top tier NFL team once again. They have the running backs in Foster and Blue, the receivers in Hopkins and Johnson and defensively they have players like Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney and some other guy that wears #99. Can’t remember his name. Anyway, the Texans struggles this year come from the quarterback position. And no, Ryan Mallet is not the answer. Mallet is a career backup, not a guy that can lead a team to the playoffs. The other quarterback there is Ryan Fitzpatrick, and well no one that looks like this is leading a team to the postseason. (You know it’s bad when your starter looks like a 65 year old wrestling manager)
This would be a terrific spot for Griffin. He grew up in Texas, and wouldn’t even be joining a rebuilding team. With the defense and other weapons the Texans have, the Griffin addition could be what gives them the boost needed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
It is never good when your starting quarterback is a McCown. And it’s even worse when it’s not an injury that has a McCown starting. But that is absolutely the case in Tampa Bay and it really is a shame cause that team should be so much better. Mike Evans, Mason Foster,Dashon Goldson oh my! Seriously how are they not at least remotely decent? Should I spell it out for you? Q-U-A-R-T-E-R-B-A-C-K. That simple. If Tampa Bay had a guy who was somewhat decent they would win the NFC South. Though this season that is like the equivalent of winning the MAC. Anyway, luckily enough for Tampa Bay, they have the opportunity to address it via free agency. Combine Griffin with Doug Martin if healthy (another beautiful fantasy pick) and Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and all of a sudden there is a respectable offense in Tampa. They can also add within the draft and if the NFC South resembles the current trainwreck next year, Tampa Bay could be in position to win it.
Other possible, but unlikely destinations:
Arizona: Palmer is serviceable, but would they want a younger upgrade not named Drew Stanton?
Atlanta: A rumor early on. Unless he can play defense, Atlanta doesn’t need him.
St. Louis: This team is 100 percent a quarterback away. Sam Bradford can’t stay healthy and is far from a world beater when healthy.
Tennessee: This would only happen if the Titans have no faith in Zach Mettenberger. It’s only been a few games and he’s looked decent so this is a long shot.