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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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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ozzie Newsome stepping down as GM factor in Terrell Suggs' departure

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ozzie Newsome stepping down as GM factor in Terrell Suggs' departure

While you've been hard at working drawing up the perfect March Madness bracket, here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news you need to know.

Team Notes:

Former Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs spoke on his decision to leave Baltimore after 16 seasons and sign with the Arizona Cardinals on Skip and Shannon: Undisputed  Wednesday. While his decision last week came as a surprise to the Ravens front office, it was something Suggs had been contemplating for quite some time. 

"It was probably hands down the most difficult decision I ever had to make it my life," Suggs said.

"Through and through I'm an Ozzie Newsome guy. Once I knew Ozzie was going to step down as GM, you know, I kind of had to question my future in a Ravens uniform." 

Suggs mentioned in his interview that the departure of other veterans helped him make his decision. With the Ravens' focus shifting to young guys stepping up to the plate, Suggs felt that he was the last piece standing in their way. While the departure was "mutual," the 36-year-old said he probably would have finished out his career in purple and black had Newsome remained GM. 

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey wasn't going to initially give up his No. 29 uniform for cheap. According to the Ravens' website, he asked for $100,000 from Earl Thomas in exchange. Thomas shot that offer down and Humphrey eventually offered up his number for free. However, it seems like the Humphrey family will get a little something in return. 

"His mom has a track team, so I might throw a little bread that way," Thomas said.

Throughout the offseason, new general manager Eric DeCosta has preached that the Ravens are interested in containing the young talent on their roster now before it's too late. So far he has accomplished that as the team currently has 48 players under the age of 26

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ed Reed warns Lamar Jackson on increased scrutiny that comes with being a black QB

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ed Reed warns Lamar Jackson on increased scrutiny that comes with being a black QB

Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news you need to know this Wednesday morning. 

Player Notes: 

Cornerback Justin Bethel officially became a member of the Ravens Tuesday. A strong addition to the Ravens' special teams corps, the two-year deal might of not happened if it wasn't for safety and ex-Cardinals teammate Tony Jefferson

Former Ravens safety Ed Reed had some words of advice for quarterback Lamar Jackson after he posted an Instagram story last week of himself driving down a freeway at 105 mph. Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Reed noted the increased scrutiny that comes with being a black quarterback. 

The Ravens are investing in their secondary in 2019. With the addition of safety Earl Thomas ($22 million with base salary and signing bonus combined), nickelback Tavon Young ($11 million base salary and signing bonus), cornerback Brandon Carr's option ($6 million), cornerback Jimmy Smith ($9.5 million), safety Tony Jefferson ($8 million) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey ($1.542 million), the Ravens are spending $58 million just on their secondary, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. That brings us to our next point...

Jimmy Smith came in at No. 4 on For The Win's 20 most overpaid NFL players in 2019. Using their "value above market price” metric based on the player's production and cap hit in a given season and multiplying their Pro Football Focus grade by the number of snaps they played, Smith cost the Ravens -$11.1 million. 

The Ravens have released inside linebacker Bam Bradley and cornerback Jaylen Hill with failed physical designations, according to the NFL transaction sheet and The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec. Both missed all of the 2018 season with injuries. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

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