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RGIII’s Solid Preseason Makes for Interesting Trade Conversation

August 20, 2018 - 10:22 am

By Joe Schiller 

The decision to sign RGIII to a one-year, $1 million deal in early April came with mixed reactions. At the time there was no Lamar Jackson and plenty of question marks surrounding Joe Flacco and the offense. Griffin, a former Heisman trophy winner and NFL Rookie of the Year didn’t play a snap in 2017 and saw his young career quickly deteriorate due to injuries.

But fast forward to late August and Flacco is healthy and looks confident with a plethora of new offensive weapons. Jackson is the clear future under center but still possesses tons of raw potential. And through two preseason games, Griffin has looked sharp and comfortable in the pocket.

The conversation has shifted from Griffin as a guaranteed roster cut to a potentially making the 53-man roster as the middle-man between Flacco and Jackson. But another conversation has come into play – the chance to move Griffin in a trade before the regular season begins.

Griffin will likely never be the player he once was but he’s shown the ability this offseason to be a capable backup quarterback. He’s been the perfect mentor for Jackson – a quarterback with the same skill set, that can teach the rookie to avoid suffering the injury fate.

Finding legitimate backup quarterbacks are few and far between. There’s often a significant drop-off, leaving a team desperate to make a trade or find another option. The Minnesota Vikings did that when trading for Sam Bradford following Teddy Bridgewater’s injury and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pondering options as Jameis Winston faces a four-game suspension.

The Ravens are not a team to take more than two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. That’s largely in part to Flacco’s health but the team didn’t even take three quarterbacks after he missed the entire offseason last year dealing with a back injury.

Roster math will be difficult for the Ravens this season. As of now, I can't justify Griffin’s spot on the roster over a chance to add an extra wide receiver, running back, inside linebacker, etc. If Ozzie Newsome could move Griffin for a late-round draft pick, consider that a success and an investment well spent.