3. The Jaguars need to decide if Cam Robinson is part of their long-term plans
Fortifying the trenches remains a need one year after it was the Jaguars' biggest weakness. The issue is that it won't be nearly as simple as beefing up the unit. Besides Brandon Scherff, the front office will need to make a decision on left tackle Cam Robinson.
Robinson signed a three-year contract worth $54 million in 2022. A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, he became a leader in the offensive trenches and one of their pillars. However, he was suspended for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy last year. As a punishment, he missed the first four games of the season and the suspension voided the guarantees in his contract.
Although Walker Little played well during Robinson's suspension, his absence was notable. Once he returned, he gave the group a huge boost in the running game. Later in the 2023 season, he suffered a knee injury and the offensive line suffered a dip in production. The bottom line is that the Jaguars were a much better team with Robinson in the lineup, and that's where the tough choice will come.
Robinson is slated to count $21.6 million against the cap in 2024 but the Jags can free up $17.7 million in cap space with just $3.8 million in dead money if they trade him or release him in the offseason. If the team's brass decide to move him, the Alabama product may not have a shortage of suitors given the demand for quality left tackles in the league. He might even net the Jags a second or third-round selection, on top of creating cap room.
The fact that Little has performed well and maybe the long-term answer at the position could make things complicated for Robinson and the team. As important as he's been for Jacksonville, will they be willing to bring him back at his expected pay rate in 2024? His leadership and influence up front cannot be measured but that's nearly $20 million the Jaguars could use somewhere else, maybe even on the center position.