Many expect Robert Griffin III to be the starting quarterback for the Browns next season. However, head coach Hue Jackson is not ready to name Griffin the starter, months before the Browns open their season.
“It’s too soon,” said Jackson told cleveland.com, after the Browns’ rookie minicamp practice Saturday. “We haven’t gotten into OTA’s yet.
“I don’t have a timeline. Obviously, we’re going to do it way before we play. If we can do it after OTA’s great. If it has to be after another time, great…I know everybody wants us to anoint a guy. That’s not going to happen right this second…Let’s go through OTA’s. Let’s get into training camp and see where we are when the real bullets start flying.”
The Ravens could face Griffin twice next season, when they visit the Browns in Week 2, and host the Browns in Week 10. Griffin’s chances to win the starting job improved when the Browns did not draft a quarterback in the first round. That leaves third-round pick Cody Kessler, Josh McCown, Austin Davis, and Connor Shaw competing with Griffin.
The Browns hope to see the confident Griffin that led the Redskins to the playoffs in 2012, not the struggling Griffin who eventually lost his starting job to Kirk Cousins. Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown thinks Griffin can revive his career, not only short-term, but long-term. The Browns signed Griffin to a two-year, $15 million contract in March.
“Our plan would be for Robert, if he carries it out, to come in, solidify himself and then, if we felt like he’s our answer long-term, to begin working on a longer-term deal,” Brown said via Cleveland.com. “Way too premature to be talking about that at this point. He’s got to earn the starting job and then be able to show that he can lead our offense in a manner that’s going to allow us to be successful to compete for this division, and ultimately, for the Super Bowl.”
Until the Browns solidify their quarterback position, and at least become a .500 team, talk about them becoming contenders sounds far-fetched. Griffin did not throw a regular-season pass in 2015, and if he struggles during training camp and preseason, it could be the start of another long year for the Browns.
Is Griffin ready to be a starter again? At some point, Jackson will have to decide. But he’s not ready to do that yet.