Robert Griffin III did not have a successful stint with his first NFL team. Washington spent the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft on him, and after a promising rookie season, it all went downhill. There was constant friction with the coaches, nasty disputes that also got the front office and owners involved, and a few major injuries. His divorce from the franchise was expected and was far later than it should have been, if anything.
Now he's the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, and his shot at redemption starts with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Griffin and the Browns will travel to Philadelphia for their season opener, and hopes are high for the new regime despite the rapid failings of the previous ones.
New head coach Hue Jackson believes in Griffin, and Jackson was brought in by the Browns this offseason specifically to get the offense back on track. Defensively, the Browns have been decent in recent years, with high level talent at some premium positions. But Griffin will have his hands full turning the Browns into an offensive power, by all accounts.
Griffin isn't the only quarterback with a lot to prove. After trading away Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings, the Eagles named rookie first-round pick Carson Wentz their starting quarterback. The Eagles traded up into the second spot to draft Wentz, the consensus No. 2 quarterback in the draft.
The Browns traded out of the second pick with the Eagles despite their own huge quarterback needs, which some have considered a slight against Wentz. The Eagles gave up a ton of draft capital in the trade, though it's unclear if Cleveland would have considered taking Wentz if no trade was in front of them. Reports at the time suggested the Browns were only interested in Jared Goff, who was taken with the first overall pick.
Cleveland bit on several first-round quarterbacks in recent years, including Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn. None of those players worked out, though.
So they passed on Wentz and are going with RG3, and whether the rookie quarterback will immediately turn around and burn them is the big story going into Sunday's game.
If Griffin starting for the Browns wasn't interesting enough, there's also the fact that he'll be throwing the ball to Terrelle Pryor, who seems to have finally progressed as a wide receiver since making the transition from quarterback. Pryor and Griffin hooked up for some big scores in the preseason, and they'll be looking for more of the same on Sunday. Chemistry is important for a quarterback and receiver, and it's clear these two have it.
Sunday's game will begin at 1 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast live on CBS. Greg Gumbel and Trent Green will be commentating the matchup from Philadelphia. The only way to watch the game live online is via a Sunday Ticket subscription.
How to watch Browns vs. Eagles on Sunday
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Online Streaming: Sunday Ticket