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Ravens won’t rule out QB in the first round after signing Robert Griffin III

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome

The Baltimore Ravens surprised everyone earlier this week when they signed street free agent Robert Griffin III to a one-year contract. RGII will likely act as the backup to a struggling Joe Flacco this coming season.

Name recognition aside, the signing doesn’t necessarily change Baltimore’s plans for this month’s draft. In fact, general manager Ozzie Newsome made that rather clear on Thursday.

“No, we will grade the players, set the board, and if there’s a quarterback that we feel that we can pick at any of our picks, we’ll do it,” Newsome said, via the team’s website.

Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta — likely to take over for Newsome when he retires — shed even more light on the Ravens’ quarterback philosophy heading into the draft.

“I think this is a really, really strong quarterback class,” DeCosta said. “There’s probably eight or nine guys that have a chance to come in and, over their first contract, be guys that have a chance to start, play effectively, compete and be winning players.”

That’s some mighty high praise right there.

Logically, Baltimore should be looking at a future without Flacco under center. He’s 33 years old and has not even performed at a mid-tier level since leading the Ravens to a title back in February of 2013. Last season alone, Flacco threw for just 3,141 yards with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 16 starts. He’s also set to count north of $102 million against the cap over the next four seasons.

Adding RGIII to the mix doesn’t really change what the Ravens plan to do at 16. He has not played since 2016 and is seen as nothing more than a backup at this point in his career.