Robert Griffin III is adding broadcaster to his resume, signing a multi-year deal with ESPN to be a college football and NFL analyst, the network announced Thursday.
Griffin III, 31, who has been in the NFL for eight seasons, will call a weekly ESPN and ABC college football game and will contribute to ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff, the Super Bowl and other major network events.
“Robert has been on our radar for a while and we expect him to make an immediate impact on our college and NFL coverage,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production. “His knowledge of the game, his fresh-off-the-field insights and his charisma make him uniquely positioned to move into this new role, and we are particularly excited to have him call a big college game every week.”
The Pro Bowl quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who was drafted by the Washington Football Team No. 2 overall in 2012, has been a free agent since the end of the season.
Griffin III was a guest analyst on “NFL Live” in 2017, a year when he didn’t play and signed with Baltimore in 2018 where he spent three seasons backing up Lamar Jackson. Griffin also had a stint with the Cleveland Browns, totaling 9,271 passing yards and 43 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,809 yards over the span of his career.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 5, 2021
“College football has always been an integral part of my life, first as a kid watching it, then as a young man playing it,” said Griffin III. “Some of my greatest sports memories come from my collegiate days surrounded by the pageantry, the traditions and the passion of the fans. College football is life-changing for many and I will always look back on my time playing it with tremendous gratitude.
“Knowing how much the game of football helps shape lives, and understanding the aspects of the commitment it entails, is why I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join ESPN for both college and NFL programming. I look forward to being around the players, coaches and fans while providing unique insight to bring the game to life for the viewers.”
Robert Griffin III
|Born:||February 12, 1990
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||213 lb (97 kg)|
|High school:||Copperas Cove
(Copperas Cove, Texas)
|NFL Draft:||2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2020|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Robert Lee Griffin III (born February 12, 1990), nicknamed RG3 and RGIII, is an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) who is a free agent. He played college football at Baylor, where he won the Heisman Trophy, and was selected second overall by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft. He has also served as a football analyst for ESPN.
Griffin had a successful rookie season, setting records for the highest passer rating and touchdown-interception ratio by a first-year quarterback, while leading the Redskins to their first division title since 1999. He was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and received Pro Bowl honors, but was unable to duplicate his success following a severe knee injury he suffered during the playoffs. Plagued by further injuries and inconsistent performances, Griffin ultimately lost his starting position in 2015 to Kirk Cousins, which led to the Redskins releasing him after the season. Griffin signed with the Cleveland Browns the following year, but his tenure was also afflicted with injuries, resulting in his release by the season’s end. After spending the entire 2017 season as a free agent, he joined the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 where he served as a backup for three seasons.
Robert Griffin III has signed a multiyear deal with ESPN to be a college football and NFL analyst.
Griffin will be in the booth for college football games on ESPN and ABC and will contribute to ESPN’s studio coverage, including during the College Football Playoff and Super Bowl.
The Heisman Trophy winner and former Pro Bowl quarterback has not totally shut the door on his NFL career, however. The deal allows Griffin to seek a playing opportunity with a team if one arises.
“ESPN has been great through this whole process and understanding that I still want to play,” Griffin, an NFL veteran and the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner while playing for Baylor, told The Associated Press. “I still love the game. If that opportunity doesn’t come, I’ll be giving everything I have to ESPN and this process.”
Griffin was a guest analyst on NFL Live in 2017, a year when he didn’t play. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 and was there for three seasons after previous stops in Washington (2012-15), which made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2012, and the Cleveland Browns (2016).
Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production, said in a statement that Griffin has been on the network’s radar for a while and will be at one of the biggest games each week.
“His knowledge of the game, his fresh-off-the-field insights and his charisma make him uniquely positioned to move into this new role, and we are particularly excited to have him call a big college game every week,” Fitting said.
Griffin acknowledged the past couple of months have been wild between deciding on his future and keeping an eye on NFL free-agency moves.
“I think it’s a fun thing for me to be able to do a little bit of studio and call games. It’s a perfect situation,” Griffin told the AP. “I am continuing to work out, stay ready and prepare for everything that could be coming in the future.”
College awards and honors
- 2011 Heisman Trophy winner
- 2011 Associated Press College Football Player of the Year winner
- 2011 Davey O’Brien Award winner
- 2011 Manning Award winner
- 2011 Consensus All-American
- 2011 First Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2011 Finalist for Walter Campbell Player of the Year
- 2011 Finalist for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
- 2011 Finalist for Wuerffel Trophy
- 2011 Semifinalist for Maxwell Award
- 2010 First Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2010 Semifinalist for Maxwell Award
- 2010 Semifinalist for Walter Campbell Player of the Year
- 2010 Baylor’s Kyle Woods Inspirational Leader
- 2008 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year (as selected by the league’s coaches and the media)
- 2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week (received honor for the week of September 7–14, 2008; Griffin led the Bears to a 45–17 victory over Washington State on September 12, breaking various school records in the process)
- 2008 Sporting News and Rivals.com freshman first team All-American
- 2008 Big 12 gold medalist (400 m hurdles)
- 2008 Track & Field All-American (400 m hurdles)
- 2008 Baylor Offensive MVP
Griffin set or tied 8 single-game, 26 single-season, and 20 career Baylor records.
- 2008 Rushing yards by a freshman: 843
- 2008 Rushing yards by a QB: 843
- 2008 Rushing yards (Game): 217
- 2008 Rushing yards Per attempt (Game): 19.7 vs. Washington State, (11 for 217 yards; also a conference record)
- 2008 Rushing TDs (Season): 13 (tied)
- 2008 Rushing TDs by a QB (Season): 13
- 2011 Most passing yards (Season): 4,293
- 2011 Most touchdown passes (Season): 37
- 2011 Highest passing efficiency rating (Season): 189.5
- 2011 Highest completion percentage (Season): 72.4
- 2011 Most total offense (Season): 4,992
- Most passing yards (Career): 10,366
- Most touchdown passes (Career): 78
- Highest passing efficiency rating (Career): 158.9
- Highest completion percentage (Career): 67.1
- Most total offense (Career): 12,620
- Rushing TDs by a QB (Career): 23
- 100-yard Rushing games by QB (Season): 4
- 100-yard Rushing games by QB (Career): 5
Professional playing career
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 2+3⁄8 in
|4.41 s||39 in
|10 ft 0 in
|All values from the NFL Combine|
Griffin was not perceived as a first-round draft pick prior to his junior season. By midseason, however, he had drawn the attention of NFL scouts and analysts, and some started projecting he would be an early first round selection. Towards the end of his junior season, Griffin had established himself as the No. 2 quarterback prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft, behind the unanimous first pick projection Andrew Luck.
Griffin was widely projected to be the No. 2 pick of the draft, but the St. Louis Rams—the team originally holding the pick—had already selected Sam Bradford to be their long-term starting quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Wanting to stick with Bradford, the Rams decided to deal the pick prior to the draft, with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins perceived as the most interested bidders. After a brief bidding process, the Redskins acquired the pick by giving the Rams four high-value draft picks over three years: their first-round picks in 2012 (No.6 overall), 2013 (No.22 overall), and 2014 (No.2 overall), as well as their second-round pick (No.39 overall) in 2012.
ESPN announced the signing of Griffin as a college football and NFL analyst on a multi-year deal in August 2021. Griffin has publicly stated his desire to continue playing and that his contract with ESPN would allow him to sign with a team if the opportunity arises.
Early years and background
Griffin was born in Okinawa, Japan, where his parents, Robert Griffin Jr. and Jacqueline, both U.S. Army sergeants, were stationed. The family later lived at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington, and then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. They finally settled in Copperas Cove, Texas in 1997 after retiring from the military.
Griffin’s paternal grandfather, Robert Griffin Sr., was a foreman for a New Orleans construction company. He suffered from glaucoma for several years, and died in 1984 at age 43 from a brain aneurysm. Financial hardship caused the family to move to the Desire Projects neighborhood. Griffin’s father was a basketball player at Kennedy High School and enlisted in the Army before he graduated. He met his wife Jacqueline (née Ross) while stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado.
High school career
Griffin attended Copperas Cove High School, where he was a three-sport star in basketball, football, and track for the Bulldawgs. He started at quarterback for two seasons. During his junior season, he passed for 2,001 yards and 25 touchdowns with 2 interceptions, while compiling 876 rushing yards for 8 touchdowns. He received first-team All-District 16-4A honors after the season. As a senior, he recorded 1,285 rushing yards, posting 24 touchdowns, and passed for 1,356 yards for 16 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. In his senior season Copperas Cove finished with a record of 13–2, but lost in the championship game of the 2007 Class 4A Division I state playoffs. Over the two seasons, he rushed for a total of 2,161 yards and 32 touchdowns while passing for 3,357 yards and 41 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. He went to and lost 2 state championships
In track, Griffin broke state records for the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. He ran the 110-meter hurdles in 13.55 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in 35.33 seconds. The 300 hurdles time was 1/100th of a second short of tying the national high school record at the time. He was also a gold medalist in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles on the AAU track and field circuit. In 2007, as a junior, he was rated the No. 1 high school 400-meter intermediate hurdler in the country, and was tied at No. 1 for the 110-meter sprint hurdler in the nation. His personal best in the 110-meter hurdles, 13.46 sec, ranked fifth in the world among junior athletes in 2007 (behind Noga, Brathwaite, Dutch, and Vladimir Zhukov), while his best 2007 time in the 400-meter hurdles, 49.56 sec—his personal best until 2008—led all juniors worldwide for that year. Also as a junior, Griffin received the Gatorade Texas Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year award, and was named to USA Today′s 2007 All-USA Track and Field team. His personal best in the 400-meter hurdles was achieved on May 18, 2008, with a time of 49.22 seconds.
|110-meter hurdles||13.46||Knoxville, Tennessee||August 2, 2007|
|300-meter hurdles||35.33||Austin, Texas||May 11, 2007|
|400-meter hurdles||49.22||Boulder, Colorado||May 18, 2008|
Rivals.com, a college football recruiting service, ranked Griffin the fourth-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation and the 42nd-best player in Texas in the high school prospect class of 2008. During the college recruiting period, Griffin was pursued by Stanford, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska, Houston, Tulsa, Illinois, Washington State, and Oregon. Griffin initially committed to play for Houston under head coach Art Briles. When Briles left Houston to take the head coaching position at Baylor, Griffin switched his commitment and eventually signed a letter of intent to play for Baylor, in part because the university also had a top track and field program.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Copperas Cove, Texas||Copperas Cove HS||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||4.4||Dec 3, 2007|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 77|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 12 (QB) Rivals: 4 (Dual-threat QB) ESPN: 40 (QB)|
Griffin graduated from high school a semester early, after serving as class president and ranking seventh in his class. He began attending Baylor University during the spring 2008 semester when he was 17 years old. As a member of Baylor’s track and field team, Griffin finished in first place in the 400-meter hurdles at both the Big 12 Conference Championship and the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meets; he also broke the NCAA Midwest Regional 400-meter hurdles record. He placed third in the NCAA meet and also participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials, in which he advanced to the semifinals. Griffin graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a 3.67 GPA, while appearing on the dean’s list twice. During his final year of college sports eligibility, he was studying for a master’s degree in communications.
As a true freshman playing for the Bears, Griffin earned Big 12 Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year honors. He started 11 of 12 games his freshman season. He made his collegiate debut in a loss to Wake Forest, where he was 11 of 19 for 125 passing yards and had 29 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. In the upset 41–21 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies, he recorded 13 of 23 passes for 241 yards, 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, and no sacks. Griffin garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors from the league’s coaches (who are not allowed to vote for their own players) as well as the media.
The team finished the season with a 4–8 record (2–6 Big 12).
Griffin sat out for the remainder of the 2009 season after sustaining an isolated tear to his ACL in the first half of the third game, his third start of his sophomore year. The Bears picked up a 68–13 victory over Northwestern State.
Baylor finished the season with a 4–8 record (1–7 Big 12).
Griffin was granted redshirt status so he entered the 2010 season as a sophomore. According to the bylaws, players who are injured after playing less than 30 percent of the season may be eligible (Griffin was injured during the third game of the 2009 season, with 25 percent of the season completed). Overall, he finished the season with 3,501 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions, and had 149 rushes for 635 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
Baylor finished the season with a 7–6 record (4–4 Big 12).
Coming into the 2011 season, the Baylor Bears were not expected to do well, being picked 6th in the Big 12 preseason poll. The Bears opened the season against 15th-ranked TCU. The Bears took a 47–23 lead into the 4th quarter, and were able to fight off a comeback after the Horned Frogs gained the lead 48–47 briefly, only for Baylor to kick the game-winning field goal and win 50–48. They pulled off the upset in large part due to Griffin’s performance; he passed for 359 yards, with 5 touchdowns and a 77.8% completion percentage. On the game-winning drive, Griffin also caught a key pass. Following the win, Baylor entered the AP Poll rankings for only the third time in the previous 15 seasons, at 20th, and Griffin was considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate. After a bye week, Baylor shut out Stephen F. Austin State University 48–0, and Griffin went 20 of 22 (90.9%) for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for 78 yards. In week 4, Griffin ushered Baylor to their third win, beating Rice University 56–31; Griffin completed 29 of 33 passes (87.9%) for 338 yards with 51 yards rushing and a touchdown. In week five against Kansas State, Griffin almost brought the Bears to their fourth win, going 23 out of 31 (74.2%) for 346 yards and 5 touchdowns with only 1 interception, but they lost 36–35 to the Wildcats. In week six against Iowa State, Griffin took Baylor to Iowa for their fourth win, completing 22 out of 30 (73.3%) for 212 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first player from Baylor to win it. Griffin also led Baylor to a 10–3 record, including a 67–56 win over the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl. With a combined 123 points, it stands as the highest-scoring regulation bowl game in NCAA history. Due to the Alamo Bowl, Griffin became the first player since Tim Tebow in 2007 to win the Heisman and not appear in the National Championship (#1 LSU faced #2 Alabama). Overall, he finished the 2011 season with 4,293 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, and six interceptions to go along with 179 rushes for 699 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns.
Griffin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a 3.67 grade point average in December 2010, began pursuing a Master’s in communications in 2011. On January 11, 2012, Griffin officially announced his intention to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.