RG3 To Rams, Bears, Chiefs Would Make Him The Next Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez pulled a Houdini in 2013, and it's an act Robert Griffin III might need to recreate.
After injuring his shoulder during the preseason, Sanchez threw zero NFL passes in zero NFL games, which most importantly, resulted in zero interceptions. And it worked out pretty well for him. At the time, he was the NFL's sad-sack. The sight of him would make Tiger Woods hurl -- even vintage Tiger, who had disgusting escapades nightly and never threw up on the job.
Sanchez's year of silence worked in his favor. Instead of being an outcast, he became an outlaw with a bounty on his head, laying low. The bounty hunters (New York media) fixed their sights on Geno Smith. And shit, we know how that's going to end. By the time good-old Sanchez came back around, he was like the wizened cowboy that returns to the local watering hole after being gone for months -- years even.
And everyone whispers, "We thought he was dead."
Because Sanchez's career was dead. Then, Chip Kelly happened.
Sanchez hasn't been perfect this year. His two interception performance against the Tennessee Titans served as proof that his "Renaissance" hasn't been all Mona Lisa all the time. And yet, the season itself has provided Sanchez with a reformed image. He's having one of the best statistical years of his career. For a little while in this preseason, he was even desirous. We should all have faith that Sanchez will have a surprisingly long career in the NFL.
It wasn't what it should have been -- he was a fifth-overall selection in the NFL draft -- but he will likely get one more opportunity to wrestle for a starting NFL job. Even if he's a backup for the rest of his career, he'll be around for four more years, probably more.
And if Mark Sanchez were Doctor Evil, he'd be looking at Robert Griffin III, thinking "We're not so different, you and I."
Griffin is almost certainly leaving the Washington Bonercats, and he'll do it with the same outcast status that Sanchez had when he left the Jets. Hell, RG3 is probably the reason Tiger threw up that day on the course. Like Sanchez, RG3 is said to lack the expected development of a player with his game experience, which is less than Sanchez's when he left the Jets.
Can RG3 turn his career trajectory from outcast to outlaw? Can he use an opportunity to go from bastard to badass?
First, he'll have to get lucky. The Eagles were a wonderful place for Sanchez, and he got to pick them. RG3 won't have that luxury, as he has a contract through 2015. So if he's leaving Washington in a hurry -- and Gruden seems to want him out -- he's going to be traded to the highest bidder. And a team like the Eagles with a quarterback in-hand will not pay the amount of draft picks required to get RG3. Frankly, with RG3's luck, he'll end up on the Jets -- then he'll really be the next Sanchez. And if he ends up on the Jets, he'll probably have a buttfumble of his own before the end of 2015. The Jets, however, probably want to draft Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota.
RG3 should be hoping he ends up on a team like the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams or Kansas City Chiefs. With them, life could be pretty Sanchez-like (the Eagles' version, not the Jets one). A little separation from the spotlight could do RG3 some good. And perhaps if his injuries are lingering more than he'll let on, then he'll have some time away from game contact, too. Then when Jay Cutler gets benched or Sam Bradford's glass jaw shatters, the stakes will be lower. RG3 could have a moment to function in a capable offense. So here's how the Sanchez story line might work for RG3.
The Bears have been Cowboys-esque, taking a lineman in the first first round in two of the last four years. So while the offensive line is on the upward trend, the love for Jay Cutler is on a precipitous downward trend. When he gets benched in the middle to end of next season, Robert Griffin will step into an offense with three talented pass-catchers in Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett. Matt Forte is one of the best running backs in the NFL. The offensive line could be meshing, and RG3's newfound energy could stabilize an ailing Bears attack. In Chicago, it might all fall into place.
St Louis Rams
The Rams have gone the opposite direction of the Bears and Cowboys, drafting 13 skill players (excluding quarterbacks) in the last five years. They seemed to think they had their quarterback and linemen of the future. And they did -- until injuries ravaged the team. When Sam Bradford gets injured again, they'll be looking for a quarterback of the future. By that point Brian Schottenheimer will not be the offensive coordinator (because he sucks at his job), and RG3 might have a decent offensive mind to guide him on a very young, talented Rams roster.
Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith is a chiller (some call it a game manager). He does little wrong, and in doing so, he does a lot right. But he's about to get super expensive, like $15-to-$17 million-a-year expensive. The days of discount are over. His $4.6 million contract is about to triple, and then some. And if he has an off year, the Chiefs will be looking for an inexpensive option. If Griffin gets a chance to play, and he succeeds on a very solid team that has everything except elite wide receivers -- a problem they could amend this offseason or next -- then perhaps 2015 or 2016 could be the perfect time for RG3 to take the reigns.
Remember, RG3 is only 19 games removed from his Rookie of the Year season. Give him a year, the right situation, and a new start. Perhaps then, he can find form again.
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