When the Baltimore Ravens traded veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos, many were skeptical of the direction the franchise was headed. Then, the once-proud AFC North team lost defensive leaders in safety Eric Weddle and linebacker Terrell Suggs to make it an even more head-scratching offseason.
Luckily, the Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh recovered and reloaded some. Adding former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and former New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram will certainly help. However, there’s one pressing question still out there that needs an answer sooner rather than later.
Who in the hell is going to be the full-time quarterback in Baltimore in 2019?
At this point, it’s really a two-man race between former Heisman Trophy winners. Is it going to be second-year signal caller Lamar Jackson, who Baltimore drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, or will it be journeyman Robert Griffin III, who re-signed with the team on a two-year deal?
According to TMZ Sports, the 29-year-old RGIII isn’t about to be content grabbing the clipboard and watching the 22-year-old Jackson run the show. Despite being on his third team since being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the former Baylor Bears star is still looking for his shot to be the full-time starting quarterback.
“Anybody that signs in the league is never content being a backup. So this is just part of the rebuilding process. For me, it started last year. I moved from QB3 to QB2 and I have an opportunity to play and help this franchise any way they need me, but by no means am I content with where I’m at. I still want to keep going.”
— Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III, via TMZ Sports
In 45 career games with 36 starts, Griffin has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 9,0004 passing yards with 42 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 1,670 yards with 10 more scores.
In his rookie season, Jackson, who played college football at Louisville, completed just 58 percent of his passes for 1,201 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing for an insane 147 times for 695 yards and five more touchdowns.
Both are dual-threat quarterbacks. Both certainly have several flaws. But who is the better quarterback in Baltimore? Neither is a good short-term solution like Joe Flacco, who suffered a hip injury last season. It really just might be RGIII, who is likely the backup quarterback on the depth chart heading into training camp.
Sure, his time with the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns was nothing special and was plagued by injuries, but at some point Baltimore is going to have to throw the ball, and there’s a limited sample size for how Jackson performs under that kind of pressure.
After all, the Ravens lost to the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Wild Card Game at home at MT&T Bank Stadium. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was pretty average that Sunday, going 14-for-29 for 194 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 54 yards and lost a fumble.
Perhaps it’s not time to abandon ship just yet on Jackson, but maybe it’s time to actually give RGIII another shot at NFL glory and to lead the locker room because he could eventually be the best possible band-aid for the franchise until Jackson is actually ready to see the field.
So who wins the race? “Maybe we’ll run a race for charity. We’ll see who wins,” RGIII said.
That might be an even better competition, too.