The professional football career of Robert Griffin III, a once-promising quarterback who didn't play a snap last season despite perfect health, died on Thursday. It was 4.
On life support since the start of the 2015 season when the Washington Redskins was demoted to third string quarterback, Griffin's career perished on Thursday afternoon when he signed two-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, an NFL team that has ended the careers of more quarterbacks than chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Griffin's career will be remembered as one season of brilliance followed by two more of mediocrity and one of confusion. In RG3's 2012 rookie year he tallied 27 touchdowns—20 passing and seven rushing—on his way to winning the league's offensive Rookie of the Year award. The next two seasons were a mixed bag that eventually resulted in RG3 losing his job to Kirk Cousins. Griffin's career would never recover.
The untimely death of Griffin's career comes at a point when recovery from what had previously plagued it seemed so likely. With the Redskins cutting RG3 loose, he was finally free of an organization that seemed eager for him to fail, from putting him in a position to be injured to forcing him to line up behind one of the league's worst offensive lines.
But instead of signing with an organization that might rehabilitate his ailing career, RG3 chosen Cleveland, an organization whose ineptitude with quarterbacks is so well-established that this is how a fan decorated his yard last Halloween.
In the hours since RG3's career died, conflicting reports have emerged indicating that it may in fact survive in Cleveland. Don't believe them. The Browns have the second overall pick in next month's NFL Draft and they're going to take a quarterback. If Cleveland alone doesn't kill RG3's career, getting over shadowed by a young quarterback will. And then the career of that quarterback will die too. Because this is Cleveland and that's what happens in the factory of sadness.