After flaming out as a starting quarterback, which made it look like his career in the NFL might already be nearing its end, Robert Griffin III has found a second life in the league as a backup quarterback and mentor to Lamar Jackson. RG3 spent last season in Baltimore as one of the team’s three quarterbacks by before after they traded Joe Flacco and began building an offense around Jackson.
RG3, a mobile former first-round pick who has experienced both incredible highs and devastating lows, gives Jackson a solid mentor and the Ravens a decent backup while RG3 gets to return to a team that is running an offense he could step into if something were to happen to Jackson. It’s a good fit for both sides.
But it turns out, RG3 almost left Baltimore during the 2018 season for a team that likely would’ve given him a chance to start. According to RG3, the Jaguars tried to trade for him twice last year.
When discussing how he approached free agency before ultimately rejoining the Ravens, RG3 revealed that he kept a close eye on Jacksonville considering they both needed a new quarterback and apparently tried to trade for him twice during the 2018 season.
“Jacksonville tried to trade for me at the end of the preseason and right before the trade deadline, so we knew that was an opportunity and there’d be a chance if things didn’t work out with Nick Foles,” RG3 told “The Lounge Podcast,” the Ravens’ team podcast.
The Jaguars, of course, did go on to
sign . And RG3 wound up returning to Baltimore. Considering the Jaguars also hold the No. 7 pick in this month’s draft, it seems unlikely that they would’ve signed RG3 to be their starting quarterback — especially considering RG3 hasn’t been a starter since the 2016 season. At best, he likely would’ve been given a chance to be a bridge quarterback.
What would’ve been fascinating, though, is if the Jaguars had managed to trade for RG3 at either point last season. If the Jaguars had managed to do that, it’s very likely that RG3 would’ve started at some point, even if the Jaguars likely wanted him in the preseason as depth behind Blake Bortles. During the season, for Cody Kessler. If the Jaguars had traded for RG3, Bortles might’ve been benched for RG3 instead of Kessler, which means we might’ve gotten the chance to see RG3 start meaningful football games. And if he’d played well in Jacksonville, perhaps he could’ve found a starting offer in free agency. Then again, considering how bad the Jaguars’ offense was last season, it’s more likely that RG3 would’ve struggled.
It doesn’t sound like RG3 regrets the way things worked out. He explained that he felt that there weren’t many good starting opportunities available in free agency and he saw Baltimore as a great fit.
“We felt like if it was going to be in a backup capacity that Baltimore made the most sense,” he said. “Great working relationship with L.J., felt like I earned the respect of my teammates and the coaches, and just an offensive system that speaks to my skill set. We thought all those things were very valuable.”
Later, he added: “I’m not looking to go somewhere and be a bridge or be there for a season and then go somewhere else. I’m looking for stability … a great situation. For me right now, Baltimore is the best situation.”