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All Grown Up? Robert Griffin III ready to move forward as new, grown player with the Ravens

All Grown Up? Robert Griffin III ready to move forward as new, grown player with the Ravens

It's been over a year since Robert Griffin III was officially part of the NFL.

That changed Wednesday when RGIII made his first appearance as a Baltimore Raven at an introductory press conference.

Last week — to much surprise — the Ravens announced that they had signed the 28-year-old quarterback to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

The former second-overall pick has not played in an NFL game since Week 16 of the 2016-2017 season, and while he says he had opportunities during the 2017 offseason to sign with a team, the fit with an organization never seemed quite right until now.

"I picked the Ravens because I wanted to be apart of an organization that had an identity," Griffin said.

"And I think what I tweeted out, 'Play like a Raven' is that identity and I'm excited to get to work with these guys and really learn what it means to play like a Raven."

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Griffin, who in his rookie year as a Redskin threw for 3200 yards and 20 touchdowns before dealing with a several injuries that ultimately led to the demise of his time with the Redskins, says he's not only learned how to protect himself better but that he hasn't felt this good in a while.

"If I'm being 100 percent honest, I probably haven't felt this good since I came out of college. A year off of football can do that when trucks aren't landing on you every play. I feel good about this opportunity, I feel good about my ability and I just really want to get in and learn from these guys that have been here for a long time."

RGIII's injury spell began during the Redskins' 2012 Week 14 matchup with the Ravens when defensive end Haloti Ngata drilled the quarterback low, around his right knee, causing it to twist in ways knees are not meant to twist.

The Grade 1 LCL sprain kicked off his decline with the team, but he doesn't look back on that play with a foul taste in his mouth.

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"Nah, I mean I don't think that's necessarily bad history. I feel like if I was only planning to play a couple more years, maybe I would look at that as a turning point, but that's not my goal, not my focus. Hopefully this is something that can manifest and be a long-term thing, but right now all I can focus on is what I can do to help the Ravens this year and go out and prove it every single day and come in ready to compete."

One thing the Heisman Trophy winner made clear throughout the press conference is that he has learned from his past and is ready to move forward in this next chapter of his career.

“I think that's kind of what [the Ravens] are excited about, [which] is I'm not just relying on what I did in the past,” Griffin said.

“I want to show them the player that I am, the player that I can be moving forward. So it's time to let that stuff go and move forward as a new player, a better player, a grown player. And that's what I'm excited about and I'm glad that they saw that in me and have given me this opportunity.”

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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