You should always expect the unexpected when it comes to the NFL. Every now and then, teams will raise eyebrows and will make moves nobody saw coming. Having said that, it’s hard to imagine the Jacksonville Jaguars trading left tackle Cam Robinson before the start of the 2023 season.
Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders was one of several writers that wrote a bold trades article for ESPN+ and had the Jags shipping Robinson. You must have a subscription to have access to the list but McCown suggests Jacksonville trade Robinson, get a mid-round pick, and give a new contract to right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who’s slated to become a free agent.
With Robinson out and Taylor back at right tackle, McCown says Walker Little could then step in at left tackle, noting that he’s played well in relief of Robinson last year, giving up just “eight blown blocks“. Here’s some of what McCown had to say about this hypothetical trade.
"The team sounds serious about re-signing Jawaan Taylor, who will become a free agent this offseason and could command a big salary as a solid right tackle. Taylor was Matt Bowen’s 15th-ranked free agent. They also got solid work from Walker Little in Robinson’s absence, as he allowed just eight blown blocks per Sports Info Solutions in his 221 regular season snaps. The 2021 second-round is as ready as he’s going to get for a real role."
Robinson was a second-round pick in 2017 and seemed to be on his way out in 2021. However, he played under the franchise tag that year and signed a three-year deal worth $54 million in free agency.
The Alabama product struggled with consistency early in his career but he put it all together in 2021, giving up 31 total pressure and one sack — both career highs — while posting a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 67.4, the highest he’s ever earned in the NFL. After a productive season, the Jaguars’ brass rewarded him with a three-year contract worth $54 million last offseason.
Meanwhile, Little has made only six starts, all in Robinson’s absence, but has flashed potential, allowing just 19 total pressures and three sacks (two of them in 2021) on 457 pass-blocking snaps over the last two seasons.
Trading Cam Robinson is cost prohibitive for the Jacksonville Jaguars
McCown’s idea sounds great in theory, as the Jaguars could move on from Robinson, possibly get a mid-round pick and plug in Walker Little at left tackle. However, Jawaan Taylor is expected to be a hot commodity in free agency and the Jags are ready to let him walk and then draft and develop a swing tackle.
But Little is ready to line up at right tackle. Last offseason, he found himself in a battle with Taylor for the starting job and lost by a narrow margin. It’s hard to tell what the Jaguars’ plan for 2023 — they should share more details in the upcoming weeks/months — but there’s a good chance Little will get the starting nod at right tackle.
It’s also worth noting that Cam Robinson is seen as “a legit leader among Jags’ offensive line” and trading him when the team is riding him might send the wrong message. Although Robinson has missed time with injuries, he’s played well, so the only reason to trade him would be if the Jags are in need of cap space.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have previously pulled the plug on players they thought would be part of their long-term future but don’t bet on them trading Robinson before the 2023 season. Then again, crazier things have happened in the NFL, so maybe…