Robert Griffin III hasn’t given up on his NFL dream, and now the Chargers are set to give him another chance to get his career back on track. According to multiple reports Monday, Griffin will work out for Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Griffin has received little interest since being released by the Browns in March, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that this will be the 27-year-old quarterback’s first visit with an NFL team, following a canceled visit earlier in the offseason. Schefter added that Griffin has been working out with Pep Hamilton, a former coach in Cleveland.
Hamilton told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Griffin has looked “healthy” and that the “ball is flying out of his hand.” Hamilton noted that new Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn had success with another mobile, strong-armed quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, in Buffalo, and that Griffin could possibly be a “backup” in Los Angeles.
Philip Rivers is locked in as the Chargers’ starting quarterback, as he has been since 2006, but the other names on the depth chart include 34-year-old journeyman Kellen Clemens and a pair of recent undrafted free agents, Mike Bercovici (Arizona State) and Eli Jenkins (Jacksonville State). Rivers himself is 35, meaning Los Angeles will soon need to start thinking about his replacement, but Griffin will have done well if he simply stays on the active roster this year.
It has been a precipitous drop for Griffin, a Heisman Trophy winner at Baylor who immediately thrived in the NFL after the Redskins made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft. He was named the Associated Press offensive rookie of the year, but injured his knee in a January 2013 playoff game and was never the same afterward.
After not playing at all for Washington in 2015, Griffin was released. He then latched on with the Browns, who named him their Week 1 starter last year. However, Griffin was injured in the first game and made just five starts for Cleveland, completing 59.2 percent of his passes for 886 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, with 22 sacks and a 72.5 passer rating.
For his career, including 40 starts, Griffin has completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 8,983 yards, 42 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, with an 88.4 rating. He has also rushed for 1670 yards on 275 carries (6.1 average), with 10 touchdowns.
In a Week 16 start against the Chargers last season, Griffin completed 17 of 25 passes for 164 yards, with zero touchdowns and interceptions, while rushing six times for 42 yards and taking seven sacks. Other veteran quarterbacks still on the free agent market (per Spotrac) include Colin Kaepernick, Shaun Hill, Christian Ponder, Thaddeus Lewis and Zach Mettenberger.