Life is tough without a full slate of NFL games to gamble on every Sunday, so in the meantime we have to make the best with what we have. The fine folks at BetOnline have blessed us with the chance to wager on whether Joe Flacco‘s newest backup will start at least one game for the Ravens during the 2018 regular season.
Will Robert Griffin III Start a Game for the Ravens in 2018?
- Yes (+170)
- No (-250)
Flacco’s incredible playoff run in 2012 helped earn the franchise its second Super Bowl championship in 13 years, but he’s failed to resemble anything close to an above-average quarterback during the rest of his career. Overall, Flacco has the fourth-fewest yards per attempt among 34 quarterbacks with at least 150 career starts since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
There’s plenty to pick apart about Flacco’s on-field performance, but the man deserves credit for missing just six games during his 10-year career. Still, injuries have started to pile up recently.
- 2013: Sprained MCL, 0 games missed
- 2015: Torn ACL, 6 games missed
- 2016: Pain in throwing shoulder, 0 games missed
- 2017: Back Vertebral Disc Hernia, 0 games missed
- 2017: Grade 1 Concussion, 0 games missed
Based on his recent accumulation of injuries, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Flacco missed at least one start in 2018.
Enter Robert Griffin III. The former Heisman Trophy winner was electric as a rookie before suffering a torn ACL, LCL, and meniscus during a Wild Card loss to the Seahawks. Since then Griffin hasn’t demonstrated the same ability to pressure defenses with his legs and down the field. He’s clearly no threat to take the starting job from Flacco. Head coach John Harbaugh noted, “We felt like we needed a No. 2 quarterback,” after signing Griffin to a one-year contract with just $100,000 guaranteed.
The contract speaks to how the Ravens view RG3: He’s not a threat to take the starting job, and he’s 100% expendable. If he proves capable of handling the playbook during training camp, he’ll be the backup for 2018. If he continues to struggle to integrate himself into a pro-style offense, the Ravens can release him at any time and absorb just $100,000 in dead cap space. Based on his contract, Griffin isn’t even locked in as the backup — and it’s a (very real) possibility that the Ravens could draft an early-round quarterback. They’ve been linked to Lamar Jackson in mock drafts around the industry at pick No. 16. If they draft a quarterback, RG3 might not even have a spot on the team in the regular season.
Lamar Jackson: Player Profile
Verdict: Play No -250. RG3’s contract suggests that his hold on the backup job is tenuous. If Flacco suffers an injury and misses a game, then RG3 will get his start — but only if he’s the No. 2 quarterback, and the team could easily draft a potential successor to Flacco, and that player would almost certainly bump RG3 down to the No. 3 job (if he manages to stay on the roster). In order to bet Yes +170, you have to believe that RG3 will keep the backup job and also that Flacco will not start all 16 games in a season for just the second time in 11 years.
Pictured: Robert Griffin III
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports