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Ravens, quarterback Robert Griffin III agree in principle to two-year deal

The Ravens have agreed in principle to re-sign quarterback Robert Griffin III to a two-year deal, pending the results of a physical, the team announced Thursday.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but Griffin signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Ravens last season.

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As he approached free agency this offseason, the 29-year-old was realistic about his prospects of returning to a starting role elsewhere and appreciative of the Ravens’ help in reigniting his career. With his return, Griffin will continue to back up starter Lamar Jackson and serve as a mentor to the fellow Heisman Trophy winner.

“Happy and blessed to be back w/ a great organization and great teammates,” he tweeted Thursday. “Let’s defend the [AFC] North.”

Griffin has not been a full-time starter since 2013 and last started in 2016 for a Cleveland Browns team that finished the season 1-15. He sat out the following season and signed with the Ravens in April after impressing while throwing to a group of receivers the organization wanted to evaluate.

But with the return of starter Joe Flacco and the addition of Jackson, Griffin’s future in Baltimore was uncertain. He impressed teammates and coaches throughout training camp and sat out the team’s preseason finale against the Washington Redskins, the team with which he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2012.

Ultimately, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their season-opening 53-man roster for the first time since 2009. Inactive for the season’s first half, Griffin took over the No. 2 role after Flacco hurt his hip in Week 9.

Griffin saw meaningful action under center in just two games, and in both cases he came on for an injured Jackson. He helped lead a field-goal drive in a win over the Atlanta Falcons and missed two deep passes in overtime in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Overall, he finished the season 2-for-6 for 21 passing yards in three games.

At his season-ending news conference, Harbaugh said the Ravens would prefer to have a backup quarterback with a dual-threat style similar to that of Jackson. He called Griffin a “great option there,” and his value only grew after the Ravens traded Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick.

“This offense is suited to my skill set,” he said after the Ravens’ season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. “I can run really any offense now that I’m six years deep in the league and kind of have an understanding of what’s going on. But at the same time, I’ve just got to make the right decision, not only for myself but to be in the right situation.”

Griffin is the first free agent to re-sign with the Ravens this offseason after reaching the market. Tight end Nick Boyle agreed to a three-year contract extension days before teams would have been allowed to negotiate with him, and cornerback Tavon Young signed a three-year extension that runs through 2022.

With just two quarterbacks on their roster, the Ravens could add a third through the draft or sign an undrafted free agent in the coming months. Griffin, whose own career was derailed by injuries, knows he must be ready for whatever comes next.

“I have a good grasp of what this team is trying to do,” he said in January. “I’d love to help Lamar continue to develop and also be available and ready to play.”

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