Old Face, New Place: Could Robert Griffin Return To Relevance?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Robert Griffin went from hero to zero rather quickly in Washington, but now in Cleveland he will get a chance to revitalize his career.  The team has Josh McCown and drafted Cody Kessler in the third round, but it would appear to be Griffin’s job entering the season.  Can we really expect much from Griffin at this point, though?

Granted he’s only 26-years old, but the injuries have mounted and clearly had an impact on his style of play.  After rushing for 815 yards and 7 TD in his rookie campaign (15 games), he’s managed 665 yards and 1 TD over the subsequent 22 games.  That’s just 30 yards per game on the ground, and while there is some value in that there isn’t much.

You also have to wonder if he’s going to have the weapons at his disposal to produce with his arm.  Corey Coleman has upside and potential, but he’s still just a rookie and impossible to depend on.  He’ll obviously get his opportunities and rack up some numbers, but he also could be inconsistent as he finds his footing in the NFL.  After that?

Gary Barnidge showed potential as the tight end, racking up 79 receptions for 1,043 yards and 9 TD.  Duke Johnson should also thrive catching passes out of the backfield (61 receptions last season), providing a play making check down option.  It’s solid, though neither are likely to help Griffin produce significant stats.  Unfortunately, that’s likely where the productive options start and end.

Andrew Hawkins has never had more than 63 receptions or 824 yards in a season.  They added players like Ricardo Louis and Rashard Higgins in the draft, but again rookies are hard to depend on (especially rookies drafted in the fourth round and later).

We all know that the Browns are often a team seen more as a punch line than anything.  While they are undergoing a makeover of sorts, it’s going to take time.  There’s a good chance that Griffin doesn’t make it through the season as the starter, whether it’s due to injury or inability, and even when he’s out there the weapons simply may not be there for him to produce gaudy numbers.  Consider him a low-end option, even in two-quarterback formats.

Sources – NFL.com, ESPN

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