Jaguars shouldn’t give LT Cam Robinson multi-year deal in 2021

Cam Robinson #74 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
Cam Robinson #74 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a quiet offseason in 2020 and refrained from making major acquisitions in free agency. This year, their approach took a 180-degree turn, as they added a few playmakers and also brought back several contributors. One of these players was left tackle Cam Robinson, who got slapped with the franchise tag. The Jags now have to decide whether they will give the 2017 second-round pick a multi-year contract or let him play the season on the franchise, which has a value of $13.75 million.

Chris Roling of Bleacher Report recently wrote about four NFL teams that still have major work left to do before the 2021 season and the Jaguars popped up on the list. Roling identifies three items in Jacksonville’s to-do list: Figure out what to do with quarterback Gardner Minshew, make a decision on Robinson and keep fortifying the roster via free agency. The Jags may be better off keeping the Washington State product and they are unlikely to make a splash signing at this stage of the offseason. That leaves giving Robinsons a new contract as the biggest question mark.

The Jaguars could’ve pursued Trent Williams in free agency or trade for Orlando Brown Jr. but opted to slap Robinson with the franchise tag instead. The team’s brass believes the Alabama product can be a franchise left tackle and believe he can fulfill his potential in 2021. Keep in mind that he has been inconsistent throughout his career, so this may be his last chance to show he’s the long-term answer at the position.

The Jaguars have until July 15th to decide whether they will give Robinson a new deal. They could go ahead and give the left tackle a team-friendly extension but they might benefit from taking a wait-and-see approach. If he plays like an upper-echelon player in 2021, the team can give him a top-market deal. If he underperforms, the Jags can simply move on without any salary-cap repercussions.

The Jacksonville Jaguars need to wait to hand Robinson a new contract.

A torn ACL in 2018 could’ve hindered Robinson’s development but he’s now two years removed from the injury. Also, Jacksonville brought back offensive line coach George Warhop. The team hopes that Robinson’s familiarity with his position coach will help him have a breakout year. Throughout his career, the left tackle has never posted a Pro Football Focus grade higher than 63.7. Also, he’s allowed 13 sacks and over the last two seasons after giving up just two in 2018.

Robinson also needs to cut down the number of pressures, as he has averaged 42 in the three years he’s played at least 14 games. Another reason why the Jaguars should refrain from giving Robinson a contract extension is the presence of rookie tackle Walker Little. Even though the Stanford product last played in 2019, he’s impressed the coaching staff this offseason. Warhop said Little has come as prepared, if not more prepared than any other first or second-round pick offensive tackle.

If Robinson struggles, the Jags could plug Little into the lineup. If he plays like an upper-echelon left tackle, the front office must pay him like one. For the time being, they must let him play under the franchise tag.

Next. 3 late-round picks from 2020 that could thrive in 2021. dark