Earlier this week, reports came out that the Baltimore Ravens were discussing trade talks surrounding backup quarterback Robert Griffin III as the new league year approaches.
Griffin. the No. 2 overall pick of the 2012 draft, joined Baltimore in 2018 as the team’s third-string quarterback and became the backup to NFL MVP Lamar Jackson in 2019. In two years with Baltimore, he’s played in 10 games, completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 246 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
At age 30, if Griffin hopes to ever compete for a starting quarterback job again, it’s now. The 2012 Rookie of the Year has had his ups and downs in the NFL, and at the current stage of his career, doesn’t hold much trade value. But could there be a team willing to trade for his services?
Here are four teams that could be a potential trade partner with the Ravens for Griffin.
The Bears have stated they will continue to roll with 2017 No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky as the team’s starting quarterback, despite the passer’s poor 2019 season. Trubisky enters the final year of his rookie contract, unless the Bears decide to pick up his fifth-year option in May.
While Trubisky may be the team’s starter moving forward, Chicago is likely to bring in a backup that will keep Trubisky on is toes (similar to the Titans’ situation with Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill a season ago).
Griffin could be an intriguing option for the Bears. He plays a different style that Trubisky, but that may be a good thing for Chicago. Both quarterbacks have strong arms and are mobile. Griffin likely won’t be given an opportunity to be the outright starter somewhere, but he could seize an opportunity in Chicago if he’s given the chance to play.
The Texans already have their franchise QB in Deshaun Watson. But behind him, there’s plenty of uncertainty. Last year’s backup, A.J. McCarron, is a free agent, and there’s no guarantee he returns.
When Watson went down as a rookie, the Texans mustered just one win in their final nine games. Griffin would provide a quality backup to Watson, and capable of winning games should No. 4 go down again.
Ahead of the Ravens-Texans clash last season, Griffin was tasked as playing scout team for Watson in practice. Griffin must have done a tremendous job, as Baltimore shut down Watson in the Ravens 41-7 victory.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has not shied away from making offseason trades, and here’s one move he could make to sure up the team’s quarterback depth moving forward.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are widely expected to use an early draft pick on a quarterback (we have them taking Oregon’s Justin Herbert in our latest mock draft), especially with longtime starter Philip Rivers set to enter free agency. but should Los Angeles head in a different direction with the No. 6 overall pick, trading for Griffin could be an option.
Currently, veteran Tyrod Taylor is the starter in Los Angeles. Taylor is a solid player, but has never been more than an average quarterback in the NFL. While Taylor’s been more consistent than Griffin over the course of their careers, Griffin has certainly had higher highs than Taylor.
As the Chargers change gears at quarterback for the first time in nearly 15 years, it makes sense for Los Angeles to go young at the position. But should they not take a quarterback in the draft, Griffin could provide great competition to Taylor.
4. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have a complicated situation at the quarterback position. 2015 NFL MVP and longtime starter Cam Newton enters the final year of his contract, but has been plagued by injuries over the past two seasons. New Carolina head coach Matt Rhule has no previous ties to Newton, and may want to go his own direction at the position.
Then there’s Kyle Allen, who started 12 games a season ago. Allen re-signed on a one-year deal earlier this week. Carolina drafted West Virginia QB Will Grier in the third-round a year ago, but the rookie did not look promising in his limited action.
Enter Griffin. It’s hard to predict what direction Carolina will go at QB, but there’s a chance Newton is out of the picture soon. Allen is on a one-year deal and Grier is unproven. So, adding Griffin, a hungry veteran, could certainly spice up the competition.
It’s a long-shot, considering Carolina has three signal-callers on their roster right now. A move with Newton would likely need to be made first. But Rhule, who coached at Griffin’s alma mater, could certainly be intrigued by the arguably the best quarterback in Baylor’s history.
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Four possible trade destinations for Ravens QB Robert Griffin III originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington