If you have paid any attention at all to this blog or the sporting news in general lately, you know that Robert Griffin III's scintillating performance at the Combine this past weekend eliminated any doubt that he would go at the very least second in the 2012 NFL Draft behind Stanford QB Andrew Luck. By measuring in at over 6' 2", turning in the second-fastest time ever for a QB in the 40, wowing scouts and front office types in his interviews, and partially answering the biggest remaining question about him by demonstrating his skill in reading and breaking down defenses, Griffin proved himself a true franchise quarterback and ensured that the St. Louis Rams, owners of the second pick, would get a king's ransom in trade.
Throughout this process, I've had a personal favorite in the RG3 Sweepstakes: the Kansas City Chiefs. As a Cowboys fan, I like that they are in the AFC where I don't really have a team to root for. I like that they have weapons on offense in Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, and Steve Breaston. I like the fact that once upon a time they were the Dallas Texans and played their games in the Cotton Bowl. I even like their uniforms and could see myself proudly donning one with the #10 on the back if such a thing was acceptable in polite society. I could be a Chiefs fan.
As RG3's stock rose, however, it became clear that the Chiefs weren't/aren't going to get him. That dream was busted by their 11th pick and lack of ammunition to trade up. In its place, I hoped for the Miami Dolphins, another AFC team that doesn't conflict with the Cowboys except for sometimes on Thanksgiving Day. I could just picture the ghost of Dan Marino (I know he's not dead, roll with it) blessing RG3 as his two-decades-too-late successor. The idea of RG3 breaking records as the Dolphins QB is one I could definitely accept. I could be a Dolphins fan.
Doesn't look like that's happening, either. Miami picks 8th and doesn't have another first rounder to trade. The hot rumor now for the Dolphins is that they will end up with Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. If you're going to lose out on RG3, you could do worse than picking up a future Hall of Famer, possible best QB of all time kind of guy, I guess.
The rest of the top ten this year has Indianapolis (who seems to be Lucked in, much to my chagrin), St. Louis (trading their pick because they don't need a QB), Minnesota (they have last year's first rounder Christian Ponder, or as I like to call him, the Ryan Tannehill version 1.0), Cleveland (we'll get to them in a minute), Tampa Bay (new coach and Josh Freeman still hanging around), Washington (again, we'll get there), Jacksonville (their owner apparently loves him some Tim Tebow), Carolina (Cam Newton, obviously), and Buffalo (they have Ryan Fitzpatrick, but is he any good?). Out of those teams, I think most people agree that the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins are the favorites to want to trade up. Both have the ammunition necessary to make the move up (with the Browns probably leading in that department by virtue of their two first round picks) and the desire to do so (most people go with the Redskins here because they are apparently enamored with Griffin).
The Browns vs. the Redskins for my favorite player of all time? Your first thought about my reaction was the right one for weeks, of course I'm going to choose the Browns. Notice that I said "was," though. That's not my reaction anymore.
Head below the jump to find out why.
Let's be clear about something: I hate the Washington Redskins. As a Cowboys fan that grew up in DFW, I was bred to hate them. I won't bore you further by waxing nostalgically about the rivalry through the years; suffice to say that it exists, it is palpable, and I hate me some Washington Redskins. Only Eli Manning's dumbface and the fact that he now inexplicably has two rings knocks the Redskins from the top spot overall in my NFL hate rankings. The idea of RG3, the player I've followed like no other because the school I love has been blessed enough to have him as our own, wearing that awful burgundy and gold uniform and playing in Washington D.C. makes me physically ill. I curse the chain of events that led Washington to be so bad this year that they have the 6th pick and no QB. It is only the latest transgression worthy of scorn by Rex Grossman.
The truth is that because I care so much about RG3 and want him to be successful in the NFL above all else, I've come to prefer that situation-- having to fight back the urge to throw large things every time he takes the field as a Redskin-- to one involving an organization as cursed and seemingly directionless as the Cleveland Browns. Because as great as it would be to have RG3 replace the Golden Boy of Texas Football as QB for the Browns, I don't see how, without a huge infusion of talent on offense and a coaching staff much better than that led by someone named Pat Shurmur, that will be a better situation than playing for Mike Shanahan. At least you know that Daniel Snyder, as childishly impulsive as he is, will do whatever he can to find players to go with Griffin. Can you say that about Randy Lerner, Browns fans?
Can you say you have a better offensive situation for a rookie QB than one involving Chris Cooley, Santana Moss, Roy Helu, and Jabar Gaffney? I know Peyton Hillis is good but I'm not seeing a lot else to get excited about there. Also, according to FootballOutsiders your offensive line is one of the ten worst in the league and it nearly got Colt McCoy killed. This doesn't exactly send a chill up my leg as a Griffin lover and I haven't even mentioned your god-awful uniforms. RG3 in what can only be described as what comes out when a baby eats an orange crayon would be an incredible waste. And the Dawg Pound thing? No thank you on any of that.
Having to root for one of the teams you hate the most to end up with your favorite player of all time for the foreseeable future is a horrible feeling, but I'll get over it if it means that RG3 is put in the best possible situation. I liken it to my daughter coming home and telling me she's decided to go to A&M to be an engineer or UT for business school. If that's the best place for her to reach her potential, I can accept it no matter how little I want her to actually be in either of those places. As long as she stays away from Fish Camp and RG3 doesn't talk to those fans that wear the pig snouts, I think we can be ok. After all, the Redskins do have that sweet fan band, right?