5 contract extension candidates the Jaguars must lock up now
No. 1 Jaguars contract extension candidate: James Robinson, RB
If there’s one Jaguar that doesn’t get as much praise as he deserves, it’s running back James Robinson. The former Illinois State Redbird was arguably their best offensive player the last two seasons and is once again a key cog in 2022.
Even though Robinson totaled the most yards by an undrafted rookie in league history in 2020, the team’s brass selected Travis Etienne in last year’s draft. Unfortunately, Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury in the preseason and was shut out for the year.
With Etienne on the shelf, Jacksonville was forced to rely on Robinson but Urban Meyer gave him a minimal workload and even benched him at some point even though he was one of the team’s best players. Eventually, Meyer caved in and installed Robinson back in the lineup. However, he tore his Achilles against the New York Jets in Week 16 and missed the rest of the year.
Robinson spent the offseason working on his rehab and set the season opener as his potential return date, and to nobody’s surprise, he was the Jaguars’ starting running back. Not only that, the Illinois native showed he was fully healthy, toting the rock 11 times for 66 yards and one touchdown. Moreover, he hauled in a three-yard touchdown reception.
Against the Colts, Robinson averaged 2.78 yards per carry but that’s only because they have a sturdy defensive front. Even then, he managed to break off a 37-yard run.
Barring injury and despite Etienne’s presence, Robinson should have no trouble getting close to 1,000 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2022. Given his importance, you could make the case he’s underpaid and the Jaguars’ front office must correct that.