John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens have a tough decision to make. When I say tough, I mean, the decision in itself isn’t that difficult, but the implications could be. For the first time since 2009, Harbaugh has to decide whether or not to carry three quarterbacks. Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson have already secured spots on the roster, Harbaugh will have to decide to keep, trade or cut Robert Griffin III. Harbaugh isn’t going to make this decision in haste. In fact, he’s indicated that he will run this decision down to the wire before finalizing. I’m sure he’s weighing all of his decisions, but a big question that has to be considered is what kind of impact this will have on the Ravens? I’m talking from either side. If they keep him, what does that mean? If they let him go or trade him, what kind of implications will that have?
Harbaugh has also indicated that the best thing to do in this situation is to keep RG III as he’s proven his worth, he’s played really well and he makes the team better. But the decision isn’t just about RG III. In fact, the decision will be heavily based on the Ravens’ confidence in Lamar Jackson. Jackson is a rookie, but a first round pick. Does that mean anything? All of the rookie quarterbacks are looking good but in some cases not good enough to start. And they’re certainly not good enough to hold the team, or even pick up the slack if the main quarterback gets injured. Jackson has failed to complete at least half of his passes in the three preseason games.
If the Ravens feel that Jackson can be the primary backup to Flacco, then they will part ways with RG III. But if Baltimore believes that RG III gives the team a significantly better chance of winning, if Flacco gets injured then the team is going to keep him. That’s a tough one because you’re basing your decision on the possibility of what if? Right now Jackson isn’t playing up to the caliber that the Ravens want, but what if he improves himself in the next few weeks? The opposite could be suggested as well. What if Jackson doesn’t improve, and they’ve already let RG III go? This is what the team has already been talking about.
RG III has made a convincing case to stay in Baltimore. In three preseason games, he has completed 18 of 26 passes (69.2 percent) for 177 yards. He has thrown two touchdowns and one interception for a 97.8 passer rating. If the Ravens do part ways with RG III, he will definitely end up somewhere in the league. Last year, half of the NFL teams carried three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster to start the season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The last time the Ravens had three quarterbacks on their season-opening roster was 2009 when they had Flacco, Troy Smith, and John Beck.