Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel have lots in common. Texas natives. Quarterback heroes on the college level in the Lone Star State. Heisman Trophy winners. Mobile, playmaking threats. First round picks. Megawatt stars with unbelievable hype and attention that goes beyond their sport.
Now we can add another item to the list: free agents.
The Cleveland Browns released Manziel Friday after two troubling and trying seasons in the NFL. "Johnny Football" showed moments of competence and potential on the field, but they were far overshadowed by numerous off the field incidents.
Despite his recent football struggles, RG3 has reportedly generated interest around the league as several teams are still seeking a starter and the options limited. Griffin and Manziel will generate the most general public interest among the various available quarterbacks,
Former Redskins general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly shared his take on the two both in terms of who is better and who he would sign.
For all the negatives mentioned regarding Griffin, there is certainly no comparison to Manziel when it comes to being a professional or for that matter, an adult. However, that's a stinging comment about his pocket skills if Manziel, hardly a conventional passer, gets the nod as the better QB.
During those two seasons for the lowly Browns, including nine games in 2015, Manziel had seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions with 1,675 passing yards and a 57 completion percentage.
Based on overall production during their careers, Griffin's breathtaking 2012 campaign alone far exceeds those numbers. Of course, the next three seasons were far more difficult in part because of various injuries and struggles as a pocket passer. Griffin did not take a snap last season.
The 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year's best moments came when he combined a strong arm with a willingness to run. As the injuries piled up, he preferred staying in the pocket more than playing in traffic. Whether he can truly become a viable QB without truly exploiting his world-class speed is the question and a reason why some believe Griffin's best move would be to join a team like the Chiefs or Cowboys as a backup. Get away from Washington and let another QB coach get a crack at untapping all that potential.
Colin Kaepernick could be traded by the 49ers. Ryan Fitzpatrick, with the Jets last season, is also a free agent. For teams needing immediate help, they top the list of options.
No doubt Griffin will draw more sincere interest in free agency than Manziel in part because Manziel likes all the trappings that come with Johnny Football too much. That Manziel is perhaps the better actual QB is something considering his nominal production and Griffin's amazing NFL start. That the last three seasons were anything but doesn't help.
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