Jaguars: 4 free-agent replacements for Cam Robinson in 2022

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson #74 (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson #74 (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /

Fifth-year left tackle Cam Robinson is entering a second consecutive contract season after the Jacksonville Jaguars placed the franchise tag on him this offseason.

Although the Alabama product hasn’t quite lived up to his second-round draft pedigree, he’s been a decent player at a valuable position — so it was wise for the team to retain Robinson for another year considering the lack of other options.

Robinson should improve his play in his second season under offensive line coach George Warhop and his first with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who will undoubtedly lift the floor of offensive line play more than Gardner Minshew did. However, if he struggles, he could very well be on his way out of the organization in 2022.

The Jaguars just drafted an offensive lineman prospect in Walker Little with the 45th overall pick in 2021, and it also drafted Ben Bartch in 2020 — so there are developmental pieces in place. If neither of those players is ready to make the jump to being a starting left tackle, Jacksonville could opt to pursue a Robinson replacement in free agency as opposed to handing him another bag for mediocre performance.

Here are four 2022 free-agent options that could be a short-term fix at the left tackle position.

Terron Armstead

The longtime Saints left tackle is set to be an unrestricted free agent next summer — and considering New Orleans’ dire cap situation, it could be difficult for them to figure out a way to retain Armstead, especially if he continues playing at a high level.

Armstead has been named to the Pro Bowl each of the past three years and has turned in a top-eight PFF pass-blocking grade among all offensive tackles each of the past six years. Any way you put it, Armstead has been a dominant player at left tackle for the Saints, especially as a pass-blocker.

If the Jaguars do opt to sign a cheaper veteran in favor of the younger and likely pricier Robinson, the soon-to-be-30-year-old Armstead should be at the top of the list, assuming he isn’t extended first.

Eric Fisher

It would be quite a journey for Fisher to end up on the Jaguars towards the end of his career. He was selected first overall in 2013, right before Jacksonville infamously picked Luke Joeckel and recently signed with an AFC South rival in the Indianapolis Colts.

It wouldn’t be a shock if Fisher ends up as a free agent again next summer, considering that he is coming off a torn Achilles and therefore may not meet expectations as a starter on the Colts’ dominant offensive line.

With that said, Fisher had a solid eight-year-stint in Kansas City as he made Pro Bowls in 2018 and 2020 and became a more consistent blocker as his career progressed. If he does end up disappointing in Indianapolis this year, he could be bought at a nice discount with more time removed from his recent injury as a placeholder left tackle for the Jaguars.

Charles Leno Jr.

Another aging left tackle who could be on the market next offseason is Charles Leno Jr., who recently signed a one-year deal with the Washington Football Team after being cut by the Chicago Chicago Bears.

This decision was strictly a financial one, as Leno is past his prime but still a solid starter and Chicago simply needed cap room. The Football Team signed Leno for the sake of stability so its second-round offensive tackle prospect Samuel Cosmi has proper time to develop. Leno could be signed by the Jaguars in 2022 for the exact same reason.

Duane Brown

35-year-old Duane Brown is certainly towards the end of his athletic prime, but his performance indicates that he still has solid play left in the tank. Brown has allowed just nine sacks in four seasons for Seattle despite playing with Russell Wilson, who tends to hold onto the ball for far too long in the hope of creating explosive plays downfield.

Brown would be a risky bet for Jacksonville, but if he continues to fend off Father Time, he should be another name for the Jaguars to keep an eye on in the 2022 offseason.

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