CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork) — Robert Griffin III won’t be a New York Jet.
The Heisman Trophy winning-quarterback and former Rookie of the Year signed with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday. The two-year deal is worth $15.75 million.
Griffin, who spent his first four seasons with the Washington Redskins, was believed to be one of the Jets’ fallback plans in the event they cannot re-sign free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. It also reduces the number of teams searching for a starting QB by one, limiting Fitzpatrick’s options and hurting his position as he tries to persuade the Jets to increase their offer. The team is reportedly offering him $7 million to $8 million while he is seeking a contract closer to $16 million annually.
The Jets had RGIII, 26, in for a two-day visit, but have said Fitzpatrick remains their first choice.
The Redskins released Griffin earlier this month. They drafted him in 2012 after acquiring the second overall pick from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for three first-round picks and one second-round pick.
In his rookie season, Griffin completed 65.6 percent of his throws for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven scores, as he led Washington to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.
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But Griffin struggled to regain his rookie form after suffering a knee injury late in the 2012 season. He was benched by then-coach Mike Shanahan for the final three games of the 2013 season, and lost his starting job again in 2014 under new coach Jay Gruden.
Griffin did not play a snap last season.
If the Jets cannot reach an agreement with Fitzpatrick, their options include starting Geno Smith or Bryce Petty, trading to acquire the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, Cleveland’s Josh McCown, Houston’s Brian Hoyer or Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon, or spending a high draft choice on a QB.