When we saw the read option starting to get used by the Broncos a lot of us scoffed at the thought of it succeeding at the next level. It was deemed that defenses were just too good at this level for it to work. We saw that while it didn't have lucrative success (in part because of the pieces in Denver) there were definitely some promising moments for the option. Coaches clearly saw the potential and several teams definitely hopped on the wagon this year.
For the most part we saw the success of the option. Most notably the Redskins were able to use it to power one of the best running games in the league and set up a dirty play action pass. The respect that defenses needed to show on the outside and on the inside on those plays became a reason that both outside and inside runs were more successful. In addition its ability to confuse defenses and force them to freeze just helped these offenses even more. The advantages it provided are hard to ignore and a major reason as to why some of the offenses that used it had the success that they did.
That being said I think there is a big problem with it in the NFL right now, and that's the use of starting QBs in it. In a league that is so QB centric the option is extremely risky. We saw it with RG3 this year with the hits he's taken, that have maimed him and if continued could potentially cost him years of his career. It isn't just injuries though. A QB getting hit a lot in a game, especially a young one isn't good at either. Against the Broncos when the Panthers tried to use the option, Newton got hit hard multiple times and was very clearly shaken. Even some of the hits that Wilson took today should make a coach and a franchise worried. Realistically even the most physical of QBs cannot take the pounding of NFL hits, especially the vicious hits that defenders reserve for QBs.
Something has to change, teams invest too much in these guys for them to be consistently be put in those positions. It might have some success but in the long run all it takes is one hit for the core of a franchise to be shattered. Maybe start just using backup athletic QBs in option looks or just two different backs? I'm not really sure but I'd like to hear some thoughts.