Browns

New Life for RGIII & CLE? – Greg Talcott

At some point, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. I guess that expression is meant to give some hope to Browns fans who have been waiting since Bernie Kosar to find a decent quarterback. The Browns have been so pathetic at the QB spot that Tim Couch should have his number retired. Last year, I opined that Johnny Manziel could finally help the Browns turn the corner if he could just clean up his act. As we all know, Manziel went straight Charlie Sheen and the Browns suffered through another miserable season. Now, they are turning to one of the most over-hyped draft choices and cast-off from the dreadful Washington Redskins to save them. RGIII, for all of his rookie year promise, has suffered through injury and the label of Dan Snyder’s boy to find himself fighting for NFL relevance on the worst franchise in league history. Griffin has nothing to lose at this point; nobody is going to hold him responsible if the Browns stink because they always do. However, if RGIII is able to turn around a career once filled with promise, he will be able to bring much needed happiness to one of the most tortured fan bases on planet Earth.

Robert Griffin. Photo by Erik Drost

Robert Griffin. Photo by Erik Drost

So far this preseason, Griffin has showed himself to be very much the same player he was in Washington; capable of spectacular deep throws, bone headed mistakes, and an inability to avoid taking unnecessary physical punishment. You can overcome some stupid mistakes, you cannot overcome your body being broken and the season on IR. For a reasonably bright guy, Griffin’s inability to avoid taking a hit is mind-boggling. Usually , those are self-correcting mistakes as your body just says “ENOUGH” at a certain point. Apparently, Griffin hasn’t been hit hard enough for his brain to communicate that back to his body, and therein lies the risk for the Browns. Will RGIII actually be healthy enough to finish the season? My thought is that is a real longshot and he is bound to miss some time. But if he can stay healthy, the Browns actually have a chance to be competitive in 2016. While I don’t think they are capable of making the playoffs, they could at least avoid being a doormat this year and that would be a win in and of itself for Brown fans.

For fantasy purposes, in a 10-12 team league, RGIII should be drafted after most kickers and before some defenses. I am kidding… he shouldn’t be drafted at all. He could however be worth an early season waiver wire addition. The reality is, it would take a miracle or really bad luck at the QB position for RGIII to be your fantasy starter. Even if he is healthy, he is nowhere near an every week play at QB if you intend on winning your league with his inconsistent production. Perhaps he is a good match up start in a given week, but I would much rather take my chances on Josh Gordon, Terrelle Pryor, or Gary Barnidge benefiting from any surprise upside produced by RGIII then betting on him directly. There is reason for hope in Cleveland this year, maybe more so than any year in recent memory. But it is critical that you remember 1 very important thing; they are still the Browns.

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