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Robert Griffin III says he turned down a contract offer from the Cardinals

Robert Griffin III says he turned down a contract offer from the Cardinals
Posted at 12:39 PM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-14 14:39:21-05

While Colin Kaepernick has grabbed most of the national headlines, there's another former star NFL quarterback who wants to play football but remains a free agent.

That man is Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Griffin was the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Washington Redskins, but his career was derailed primarily due to injuries.

The 27-year-old Griffin hasn't played in the NFL since he was released by the Cleveland Browns in March of 2016 -- but on Wednesday, he told ESPN he received two offers to play in the NFL in 2017: one from the Baltimore Ravens, and the other from the Arizona Cardinals.

Griffin said he turned down both offers because they weren't the right fit for him. In the Cardinals' case, he declined because the Cards already had three quarterbacks in place, and he wasn't interested in being a fourth-string guy.

"I was willing to come in and learn behind an experienced, veteran quarterback (Carson Palmer) who's done a lot of great things, (but) they had the backup in (Drew) Stanton and they had also brought in Blaine Gabbert," Griffin said. "Nobody lets four quarterbacks get practice time. That was the issue."

The Cardinals, who signed Gabbert to a one-year contract in May, has gone from third-string QB to starter following injuries to Palmer and Stanton. Gabbert has an 80.8 passer rating in four games with the Cardinals; Griffin's career NFL passer rating is 88.4.

Griffin said his decision to turn down the Cardinals had nothing to do with the franchise or coach Bruce Arians.

"It wasn't the coach; the coach is a great coach. He's a quarterback whisperer, and I wanted to go there and learn from him, and it's a stable franchise, so that was all great," Griffin said. "It just wasn't the right situation for me, and I had to make that decision, and just try to make the smart, educated decision."

With that said, Griffin said he's still open to playing this season if a team needs help heading into the postseason.

"I haven't given up on 2017 yet. There's some teams out there that still need quarterback help, and may need quarterback help going into the playoffs," he said.