RGIII Came 'Really Close' to Signing With Ravens, But Declined Offer
Quarterback Robert Griffin III said he came close to signing with the Ravens a week before their first preseason game against his former team, the Washington Redskins.
Ultimately, he declined the offer to come to Baltimore because he felt it was rushed.
Just how close was he to coming?
"I was really close," Griffin told Trey Wingo on ESPN's "NFL Live."
"But I decided not to take that opportunity because it was too short notice. You know, you can't step out on the field with a week of preparation and just ball out. Right now, I could. I can do that now. But when you're talking about the preseason, with a bunch of guys you don't know, it'd be very tough to do that."
The Ravens were in need of a quarterback at the time because quarterback Joe Flacco was dealing with back issues. He missed all of training camp and didn't play in any of the four preseason games.
Flacco started in the regular-season opener after a couple days of practice, but didn't quite looked like himself until recently. After his best game of the year against the Detroit Lions, in which he completed 23-of-36 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said the improvement was tied to Flacco finally feeling healthy again.
Mornhinweg added that Flacco's improved health has also allowed him to open the playbook up a little and be more aggressive. Flacco's strong Detroit outing was followed with another efficient performance in Pittsburgh, where the offense scored 38 points.
As the Ravens prepare for their final playoff push over the last three games of the season, Griffin is looking for work and said that he's "ready" now in case any playoff contenders are in need of a quarterback. After turning down the Ravens' offer, and another from the Arizona Cardinals, Griffin hasn't played football at all this year.
Griffin's NFL career started out with a bang, then quickly fizzled. He led the Redskins to a division title and the playoffs as the Rookie of the Year in 2012, but had a bad sophomore season, was riddled with injuries, lost his starting job in 2015, then was cut at the end of that season.
Kirk Cousins took over as the Redskins' full-time starter while RGIII landed in Cleveland, where he started five games and threw two touchdowns and three interceptions.
"Selfishly, I could have said, 'Yeah, I'll take that [job in Baltimore]," Griffin told ESPN's "SC6" hosts Jemele Hill and Michael Smith. "I want to go play against [the Redskins],' but I knew I wouldn't have been ready with that offense, with those guys to go put my best foot forward. When I step on the field the next time, I want to make sure I put my best foot forward and make sure that, obviously, I stay healthy but I get a nice rapport with the team and with the athletes and the coaches."
NFL Power Rankings: Ravens Not Quite a Top-10 Team
Despite the Ravens' heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night, Baltimore didn't fall very far down the national power rankings. In fact, the team even moved up in ESPN's eyes after going toe-to-toe with the league's most potent offense.
Baltimore has been slowly climbing its way up these lists this year, as the team was once ranked in the high 20s earlier in the season.
Now, the Ravens aren't quite in the top 10, but are on the cusp.
**ESPN:**No. 12 (up one)
"Alex Collins was cut by the Seahawks on Sept. 2 and signed by the Ravens on Sept. 5. Flash forward to December and he's fourth in the NFL in yards per rush (5.1) and just 175 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season."
**Yahoo Sports:**No. 12 (down one)
"Of all the teams I've seen play in my life, the 2017 Ravens had to be one of the least likely to play a 39-38 game. But the offense has shown some good signs, mostly thanks to Alex Collins' emergence. On the other hand, the defense really missed standout cornerback Jimmy Smith, and he's done for the season."
**NFL.com**: No. 13 (no movement)
"No move for the Ravens, who hung with the Steelers for 60 minutes on Sunday, or at least 59:17. That last drive was rancid (can't use the right word to actually describe it). Yet, Baltimore showed it can manufacture more than a morsel of offense. Alex Collins was one heckuva independent contractor in the second half. Joe Flacco, on the other hand, is flummoxing. He's so cool that when your team's going against him, you don't know whether to be scared silly ... or relieved that he's clearly about to deliver a three-and-out drive-by. The fumble out of bounds -- with the abrupt ending it induced -- dotted what was such a frustrating loss for Ravens fans."
**Sporting News:**No. 13 (down two)
"The pass defense is starting to spring a few more leaks, but Baltimore needs to be pleased with Alex Collins providing a spark in the running game and opening things up for Joe Flacco and the rest of the offense. They Ravens are a dangerous wild card should they get back into position."
**CBS Sports**: No. 14 (down one from last week)
"That loss to the Steelers will sting. But they still control their road to a playoff spot and they have a soft schedule to close out the season."
***Bleacher Report**: No. 15 (down two) *"If there's a thing such as an encouraging loss, Sunday's loss would have been it for the Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a tough matchup for anyone, and the Ravens nearly went into Heinz Field and pulled off the upset. More importantly, the Ravens offense played well and produced explosive plays for the second consecutive week. Alex Collins is running strong, and the Joe Flacco-Mike Wallace connection has been good. The Ravens defense has been solid all season. Though it stinks the Ravens lost Jimmy Smith last week, this defense is capable of stopping a lot of offenses. I'm just not sure it can stop the league's elite offense the way the Baltimore defense did back in 2012. This is why the offense needs to continue improving. Baltimore is capable of reaching the playoffs and even winning a game or two given the right circumstances."
You Need to Watch This Performance – It Will Inspire You for the Rest of the Week
Who doesn't need a little motivation on a Wednesday morning?
I'm telling you, take the time to watch this performance by the Cardinal Shehan School Choir during yesterday's team meeting. It will give you goosebumps.
The talent these young boys and girls possess is absolutely ridiculous, and they use it in such a positive way. Stunning!
Devin Hester Officially Announces His Retirement
Former Ravens returner Devin Hester officially announced his retirement from the NFL Tuesday after 11 seasons in the league.
The 2006 second-round pick had an illustrious career, tallying the most non-offensive touchdowns in NFL history. His time in Baltimore was brief in 2016 as he didn't showcase the playmaking ability he had during the height of his career. He fumbled a couple of returns in 12 games played.
Despite that, he put together a resume that puts him in the Hall of Fame discussion.