Hubba, hubba, hubba, who do you trust? I'm giving away free money!
Okay, so I'm not exactly doing that, but I am doing what Jack Napier tried to do in the original "Batman." The 1989 one. The good one -- not the one where Christian Bale tries to talk like he's doing a Super Dave Osborne impression. I'm trying to get you to trust someone. Robert Griffin III. RG3 is rocketing up everyone's draft boards. He could be the next Cam Newton. He could be the next Michael Vick. He could be the next Aaron Rodgers. Or the next Akili Smith. So do you trust "The Prosecutor"? (I nicknamed him that after interviewing him during Super Bowl week because of his desire to go to law school, and I'm hoping it sticks so I can get some residuals.)
Right now, would you trade your quarterback for Griffin if you could?
Before we answer, this is not a column for everyone. Some teams would scoff at that notion right away, because their current signal caller has accomplished enough that you wouldn't think about replacing him. For example, every team who has a QB that's won a Super Bowl is happy with their guy. So exempt from this are fans of the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. You are also not in this if you have a proven franchise quarterback in place already. So not participating are the fans of the San Diego Chargers, Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions. And while there's always that mathematical chance, I don't think there's any way the Indianapolis Colts don't take Andrew Luck.
For the rest of you, it's fair game, and a fair question, but there are a lot of variables. For instance, some teams have a lot of money invested in players who haven't lived up to the hype yet. And some might not do it if they can get their current quarterback more help. While it all goes into the hopper, this is really about how happy you are with your guy.
ARIZONA CARDINALS: I saw enough of Kevin Kolb to tell me he's not the answer in Arizona. John Skelton is a nice QB, but you're not winning anything with him, unless it's for entering "Red" as your answer in a contest to give him a nickname. Griffin has elite skills and it's not even a question for me of eating whatever you have to of Kolb's contract in order to plug Griffin in. If Kolb was a better player, he would have been drafted higher.
ATLANTA FALCONS:Matt Ryan has been terrific his first four years. His TDs keep going up, as does his yardage. The team wins. His playoff performances haven't quite been what you'd expect, but so far his career is following along the lines of Peyton Manning, and he reminds me a lot of Manning in his overall makeup. Which is okay by me. So I keep Matty Ice. And hope he doesn't get a neck injury.
BALTIMORE RAVENS:Joe Flacco had a great playoff game against the Patriots, but he's just been too inconsistent the last four seasons. He can look great for a two- or three-game stretch and then look lost for a month. After four years, this is who you are as a quarterback. He hasn't gotten me to the Super Bowl yet, so I'd take Griffin in this swap. (But if it makes you feel better, Mr. Wannstedt, I will take Flacco over Tyler Palko.)
BUFFALO BILLS: Ugh. You gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a ton of money just in time for him to prove he's an average quarterback. The league has figured him out and I have a feeling that contract is going to be an albatross around the collective necks of the Western New York faithful. I go for the promise of RG3.
CHICAGO BEARS: Harder than it looks, because I think the Bears are Super Bowl contenders and could have gotten there this year if Jay Cutler didn't get hurt. He's in the right system and the Bears can steamroll through teams with him. (Oh my, am I really saying this?) He's a proven all-weather QB so believe it or not, I stick with Cutler.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: Hey, I love Andy Dalton. But as well as Dalton played, Griffin can give you that and the extra dynamic with his mobility. Dalton doesn't strike me as a superstar in the making, but more of a solid player who will be able to post good but not elite numbers; someone you can count on every year to be dependable in his production. Dalton is the best friend who's always there when you need him, wears sweaters over collared shirts and is the voice of reason. That's not enough for me. I want to win it all, and Griffin gives me a better shot at it. It's hard because you only have one good year to base it on, so I'm going with my gut.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: Is this even a question? My only fear is for Griffin's health when he takes the field for the Browns. I will say I think Colt McCoy can be a very good quarterback in a different system with better talent around him. But that's the thing about Griffin, he has that ability to make everyone around him better.
DALLAS COWBOYS:Tony Romo is a very good to nearly great quarterback. But the Cowboys have not been able to turn the Romo era into a successful one. He's been in the league nine years now, with some of the best weapons in football at his disposal and they have one playoff win to show for it. This falls into the category of "I know I haven't seen enough of the other guy yet, but I've seen enough of this guy to know we're not getting where we need to go." This is Griffin.
DENVER BRONCOS: Turn the page on Tebowmania? That's Linsanity! But Griffin has better skills throwing the football and that won't change in a hundred years. I barricade my office door to guard against the angry fans and I go with Griffin. And I'd love to see Jimmy Fallon dressed up as half-Griffin, half-horse for his next sketch.
HOUSTON TEXANS: The Texans are on the cusp of the Super Bowl. Or are they? As prolific as Matt Schaub has been, he's never won a playoff game. In fact, he's never been IN a playoff game. His best has been pretty good. But if I said what I did about Romo, that has to apply even more here. I'm rolling the dice with Griffin. Can you imagine a Griffin-Foster backfield? I thought so.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Is this even a question, part two? No one knows if Blaine Gabbert can be a franchise quarterback, but in a year where every other rookie came in and played well to varying degrees except for him, what does that say? Yes, give me the Heisman Trophy winner.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: If my mouth was watering above, I'm actually a drinking fountain with the button stuck in the "on" position here. Matt Moore was a nice pickup last season, and played above his head but you can see where his ceiling is, and there's not much room left up top to grow. Griffin could potentially make Miami a Super Bowl team in the next year or two if he's the real thing. And, talk about energizing a fan base.
NEW YORK JETS: If there's not a lot of room between Matt Moore's head and his "potential ceiling" then Mark Sanchez's head has hit it and keeps bumping up against it repeatedly. The Jets are built to win a Super Bowl in the next couple of years, but it's obvious they need a QB upgrade. With the way rookies have shown they can handle the workload right away, the Jets could be in New Orleans next year with Griffin.
OAKLAND RAIDERS: If this was Carson Palmer circa 2003, the answer would be no. But it's 2012. And you need stability and a long-term future at QB. I close my eyes and I see Griffin scrambling around to buy time and then launching 70-yard touchdowns to Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford regularly. And head coach Tim Brown smiling and wishing he was still playing (okay that last part is a little fuzzy).
Brooks: QB prospect rankings
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are the top two QBs in the draft. Who's No. 3? Bucky Brooks ranks the top five. More ...
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: You've given Michael Vick $100 million dollars hoping he can bring you a championship. It would be more than just trading Vick for Griffin. You've made Vick the face of the franchise and for a team who went all in for the Lombardi Trophy, if you start over now your team falls apart. Or does it? Does Griffin come in, with a similar if not exact same skill set, stay healthy and win just as many games? Don't forget, he's nearly 10 years younger, and Vick has shown the propensity to break down and will likely continue to do so. Running quarterbacks lose their edge sooner than everyone else. I'm going with RG3.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS:Alex Smith, you were fantastic in 2011. I can still see the winning pass to Vernon Davis against New Orleans. This year we saw Smith at his best. Controlling the ball, not turning it over, and giving you a really good game one out of every three. HOWEVER. I need my QB to throw more than 17 TDs for me in the regular season. Griffin has the promise to be able to do that. I know what Smith can do and it's good. But I'll take a chance on what could be greater.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Is this even a question, part three? As Stan Lee would write, 'Nuff said. And yes, I'm still bitter that Tarvaris Jackson overthrew Golden Tate for touchdowns three times in the final week of my fantasy regular season that kept me from the playoffs in one of my leagues. But I'd still feel the same either way.
ST. LOUIS RAMS: A hard call. But I see the Rams drafting Justin Blackmon and hopefully keeping Brandon Lloyd, and then I really want to see what Sam Bradford can do. He was fantastic his rookie season when he had no one to throw to. Year 2, he had no one until Lloyd in midseason and it didn't go his way. But he has the pedigree, and there's a reason he was the No. 1 pick. So I'll stick with Bradford in a close one.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS:Josh Freeman should be a ride at Cedar Point. In a couple of years he might settle into being a monster QB who becomes a bigger version of Griffin, or he could flame out and never become consistent. This might be the hardest call I've made so far, because I think Freeman can be a franchise star. Tampa Bay has brought in offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan to help Freeman, much like he did with the Giants and Eli Manning, who credits Sullivan with a huge part of his success. I'll stay with Freeman by a hair. No pun intended, though I do think Freeman has Griffin in that department as well. By a hair.
TENNESSEE TITANS: I watch Jake Locker and I'm tantalized by his ability. I never thought he'd come into the NFL and be successful, but in spurts last season he wowed me plenty of times. Remember, he was someone who was on track to become the No. 1 overall draft pick until his disappointing senior season at the University of Washington. But I love this kid's moxy and athleticism. Locker's my guy.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Is this even a question, part four? I'd trade everyone, including Daniel Snyder and Stephen Strasburg to get Griffin.