Ravens coach John Harbaugh has said the decision on whether to keep two or three quarterbacks will “go right to the wire.” The wire arrives Thursday for Robert Griffin III, when his initial NFL team comes to Baltimore for the final preseason game.
After Saturday night’s game against the Dolphins, Harbaugh acknowledged that the preseason finale will be significant for players on the bubble. Though he didn’t expressly mention Griffin, Harbaugh’s prior comments already made Griffin’s bubble staff obvious.
“Thursday’s going to be big,” Harbaugh told reporters on Saturday. “It’s going to be an opportunity once again for those guys. We’ll find out who is going to be on our team.”
Griffin, who completed nine of 15 passes for 66 yards and added 41 rushing yards as the starter at Miami, will likely get the start again, in what could be his final appearance with his current team, while facing the team with which he’s most associated. He doesn’t seem to be flustered by that reality.
“[T]here’s no pressure,” Griffin told reporters. “I should say there is no pressure that I’m going to apply to myself to go out and perform like I have been and I know how, and the coaches have taught me within the system. I know the team we’ll be facing is my former team that I played for and was drafted by. There will probably be a story line around that. But aside from that, it’s just go out, play ball and have fun, and continue to do what we’ve been doing, and let the coaches make the decisions at the end of the day.”
The end of the day literally comes on Saturday, two days after the Thursday game. That’s when every team must trim the roster to 53, and when the Ravens must decide whether to keep Griffin around as a third quarterback, or whether to use that roster spot on another position.
Here’s one thing to not rule out, although at this point it would be unlikely: A trade. All it takes is one fluke injury in practice to create a market, as the Vikings learned the hard way in 2016 — and as the Eagles learned to their first-and-fourth-round delight. While Griffin wouldn’t yield a major haul, the Ravens possibly could flip Griffin’s contract for something of value at some point down the road, which could be a factor in deciding whether to keep him around versus cutting him loose on cut-down day.