If you ask anyone who follows the Jacksonville Jaguars what their biggest offseason needs are, they will tell you in no particular order wide receiver, offensive line, and give general manager Trent Baalke his walking papers. While they haven’t been inclined to do much about the last one, they can certainly address the first two and if they want to bolster their wide receiver corps in free agency, they should then consider a reunion with Allen Robinson.
You could make the case that the Jaguars should have brought back Robinson in 2018 but they opted to let him walk and he signed a three-year deal worth $42 million with the Chicago Bears. While the 2014 second-round pick had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in his first two years in the Windy City, his performance suffered a drop in 2021, hauling in 38 catches for 410 yards with one touchdown.
There are several reasons why Robinson had a down year in 2021, including but not limited to the inconsistency at quarterback the Bears got from the quarterback position and getting COVID-19, which made him lose 10 pounds. This isn’t to say the former Nittany Lion can’t play better. He certainly should carry some of the blame for his dip in production but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer a playmaker. Sure, his stock took a hit ahead of free agency, something Alex Kay of Bleacher Report noted recently.
Using a projection from Pro Football Focus, Kay thinks that Robinson will still sign a pretty good contract in free agency, one that could pay him around $17 million but he believes that he would get a better deal had he had a strong 2021 season.
Allen Robinson would be a good, low-key addition to the Jaguars.
If the Jaguars want to start winning games on a consistent basis, getting Trevor Lawrence as many weapons as possible must be their top priority this offseason. Re-signing DJ Chark Jr. would be a good start but his absence due to an ankle fracture in 2021 showed that Jacksonville needs to add more firepower to their offense, and Robinson would be low-key, solid addition in free agency.
You could argue that Robinson may not be thrilled to return to Jacksonville after leaving in 2018 but there was a different management in place, one that wasn’t interested in paying their playmakers. Things are different and head coach Doug Pederson is now in charge. Also, the organization plans to make a few changes to the structure of their front office, which could in turn make it more appealing to free agents, including Robinson, to sign with them.
The Jaguars are slated to have around $56 million in cap space this offseason, so they can easily meet Robinson’s salary demands. Moreover, they wouldn’t have to draft for need, which is often a recipe for disaster, and would be in a position to take the best player available in the second or third round in this year’s selection meeting.
Making a splash in free agency doesn’t translate into regular-season but that doesn’t mean the Jaguars should sit on their vast amount of cap space this offseason. They need to acquire as many big players as possible and Robinson fits the bill.