Signing with the Browns had to be an exciting moment for Robert Griffin III, who got a deal that can be worth as much as $22 million if he can recapture a glimpse of the player he was back in 2012.
"It's like you said, you have to compete," Griffin said on a conference call with reporters Thursday, just moments after his deal was made official. "I'm just excited about the opportunity, like I said. After not playing football for a year, I'm really appreciative of the Browns stepping up and giving me an opportunity to go out and grow with their team, compete on a daily basis and lead the team. I'm really excited about that."
The second part of his quote was far more interesting, though.
"If they draft a quarterback, (I'll) take the guy under my wing. I'm considered a vet now after four years in the league and I've been through a lot more than a lot of guys go through in their entire career. I've got a lot of experience. I can help a young guy, but it's not my focus. I don't pick the players. (executive vice president of football operations) Sashi (Brown) and (coach) Hue (Jackson) and all those guys will take care of that stuff, but if they draft a quarterback, it doesn't bother me at all. I'm just ready to compete."
We know that so much of Griffin's experience in Cleveland will depend on how he handles Jackson and how the coach handles him. Jackson does not tread lightly with quarterbacks, and based on recent history in Cleveland, he won't have time to. The best laid plans that involve a rookie sitting for a season before taking significant snaps can be ruined quickly -- just ask the Jacksonville Jaguars and Blake Bortles.
Griffin said all the right things about mentoring a young quarterback, but we're sure he picked Cleveland in part because he wouldn't have to. Griffin wants to start again, and if the Browns bring in some high-upside competition he'll have to face the same demons all over again.