Robert Griffin III is only 28 years old. I say this to you only to underline how quick his rise was, and how thorough his fall has been. The onetime Washington Redskins phenom is now holding onto the NFL by his fingernails, having secured a training-camp invitation from a Ravens team that may well have drafted a younger, faster, healthier-kneed version of him.
But Robert Griffin III as a brand is no more. As Deadspin notes in a cringeworthy article, Griffin has let lapse a whole boatload of trademarks he’d bookmarked for himself, via the United States Patent and Trademark Office:
These are the standard get-your-life-together slogans that decorate free t-shirts and gym walls. It’s debatable whether “Know Ur Why” or “Dream big live bigger” would really motivate anyone, but what’s indisputable is that Griffin has decided that these are no longer part of his particular brand.
Does Griffin have a future in the NFL? At the moment, other than a vague distant good feeling for the long-ago days of 2012 in Washington, his only notable achievement is guiding the Browns to what is, to date, their last victory. He signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Ravens in April … only to see Baltimore draft Lamar Jackson, a fellow fleet Heisman-winning quarterback, just a few days later.
And Griffin greeted the draft pick thusly:
We’ll see just how long the two end up working together. But for now, Griffin will be just a quarterback, no longer a brand.