Robert Griffin III and the Cleveland Browns: a match of hard-luck misfits

The one-time phenomenon has resurfaced with the woebegone Browns after an ugly divorce with Washington. Could it actually work?

Maybe in a way Cleveland and Robert Griffin III were made for each other. The city has never had much luck with their football team and Griffin didn’t have any other suitors when Washington released him last winter. Sometimes the best opportunities are those where hope comes in limited quantities.

The NFL never knew what to do with the second pick in the 2012 draft once a defensive lineman named Haloti Ngata fell on his leg that fall, keeping RG III from being a dazzling runner again. Unable to do what he did best and run, the rookie of the year was suddenly a failure in everybody’s eyes. He laughed too much. He laughed at the wrong time. He was too honest. He wasn’t honest enough. He was too compliant. He was too un-coachable. He was too smart. He was too dumb. His hair was wrong. Now, the coach who wanted Griffin so much that he traded three first-round picks to get him says his exuberance was a lie and that he didn’t want Griffin at all.

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