CLEVELAND, OHIO-- The smoke surrounding the Browns and Robert Griffin III has turned into fire.
After meeting with the quarterback late last week and becoming the national "front runner" to land him, Cleveland has signed Griffin III, the team announced on Thursday.
That deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, will be for two years.
Griffin III expressed his excitement at the opportunity to come to Cleveland and to play for coach Hue Jackson and the rest of the Browns' offensive staff in the team's press release.
“I'm excited about the opportunity to join the Dawg Pound and help build something here in Cleveland,” Griffin said. “Coach Hue and Pep (Hamilton), I had a great meeting with them. I really believe in what they preach and how they can help not only me as a player but this team win games and that's what we're all about.
“I'm just excited to come in and compete. Nothing's ever been given to me in my life, so I just want to go out and compete with the guys and grow with this team. I feel like that's all I'm really focused on. I cherish the opportunity to get another chance to play this beautiful game."
Jackson seemed equally as thrilled that Griffin III is now part of the Browns.
“We are excited about Robert joining the Cleveland Browns,” said Jackson. “He brings starting experience to our team and organization. He's a young, athletic, talented passer and he's really just starting out in this league. Just like every player on our team, Robert will have to earn every opportunity he gets. He will compete with the rest of the quarterbacks on our roster and he helps improve our QB room, which was one of my goals upon taking the job. It's a special room and we want to put special people and players in that room. We are looking forward to working with Robert, as well as the rest of the quarterbacks on our roster. We have a lot of work to do to prepare to be the best QB room in the NFL and we look forward to the challenge that lies ahead."
Griffin III, who was drafted second overall by the Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft after winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy, played in Washington for four seasons before being cut by the organization on March 7.
Playing in 37 games over his four seasons for Washington and accumulating 8,097 yards with 40 touchdown passes and a 90.6 QB rating, Griffin didn't play a single game for the Redskins in 2015, sitting behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy on the team's quarterback depth chart.
The 26-year-old took the NFL by storm amidst his 2012 rookie season, throwing for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions over 15 games.
The performance earned him the 2012 Rookie of the Year award and a place in the 2012 Pro Bowl, in which he did not take part due to injuries to both his ACL and LCL.
Starting in 13 games for the Redskins in 2013, throwing for 3,203 yards and just 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, before suffering through an injury-plagued 2014 season in which he started just nine games.
Upon his trip to Cleveland, Griffin III met with Browns coach Hue Jackson and other members of the front office staff, seemingly impressing them with his demeanor and his outlook as he enters into the next chapter in his career.
The Browns are still likely to look at a quarterback in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft, but may look to move veteran Josh McCown.
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.