What RG3 to Cleveland would mean for Washington

WASHINGTON — The RG3 saga in the nation’s capital came to an apparent end with the embattled quarterback’s official release on March 7. But so long as he remains employed in the National Football League, that story will never really be over. This is especially true if he ends up signing with the Cleveland Browns, as he was reported to be close to doing on Monday.

For the better part of the past year, conventional wisdom has suggested Griffin might return to his home state of Texas, where he is still a hero to some, and where he might feel more comfortable beginning again. Both Dallas and Houston have been suggested as potential destinations, with the uncertainty at quarterback with the Texans suggesting Griffin might have a legitimate shot there.

But Cleveland has long coveted Griffin. The Browns’ ownership of the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft is what prompted Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen and Co. to give up such a massive haul to move up to the number two pick. Instead, Cleveland took running back Trent Richardson at three, then used the 22nd pick on another quarterback, Brandon Weeden. Another failed 22nd overall draft pick later, the Browns are left with just as much uncertainty as ever at the position.

In fact, the 15 different starting quarterbacks Cleveland has employed since 2008 have combined to win just 37 games over that span. If there was ever a low bar to clear for success as an NFL quarterback, it might be in Cleveland right now.

But why should RG3 signing with the Browns matter to Washington fans? Because Cleveland, under a new head coach, has a wide open quarterback position and an as-of-yet-undetermined away date at FedEx Field next season. There’s a reasonable chance Griffin could be back under center in Landover, playing against his old team.

It certainly seems a better likelihood than him signing with Dallas and somehow surpassing Tony Romo for the starting job (by means other than injury), trying to squeeze himself into a system in which he doesn’t fit. And in the long run, not having Griffin in the NFC East would cut down heavily on his ability to directly impact Washington’s success, for better or for worse.

Now that Brock Osweiler has ditched Denver for Houston, the opening in East Texas appears to be filled for the foreseeable future. So while some people might balk at the idea of going to Cleveland, it might be just the opportunity Griffin needs to revive his career. And it might just land him back here next year, wearing opposition colors under center.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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