Weighing pros and cons of Jaguars potentially trading LT Cam Robinson

• The Jaguars should weigh the pros and cons of potentially trading veteran LT Cam Robinson in free agency.
Carolina Panthers v Jacksonville Jaguars
Carolina Panthers v Jacksonville Jaguars / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

One of the senior members on the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line could be on the market. Cam Robinson has been a mainstay for this group since being drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft but his stint with the Jags could come to an end this offseason.

A unanimous All-American at Alabama, Robinson is entering the final year of a three-year, $54 million contract. While he has proven to be a dependable left tackle when healthy, general manager Trent Baalke may be entertaining the thought of trading him away for a long-term vision.

According to Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report, the 28-year-old Louisiana native is a potential trade candidate as things stand right now. But would it make sense for the Jags to move on from him?

Cam Robinson’s 2023 numbers with the Jaguars

Cam Robinson had a solid NFL season with the Jaguars in 2023.
Oct 29, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season was difficult for Cam Robinson, who played only nine games at left tackle and 535 offensive snaps. Robinson allowed three sacks last season and was flagged for three penalties, according to Pro Football Focus.

While it was not his worst season statistically, he, along with the rest of the offensive line, were not at their best. Travis Etienne rarely had a hole to run through, and Trevor Lawrence was hurried more often than not.

With or without Robinson, the offensive line was particularly poor in the red zone last season, so moving on from him may affect the group's performance.

What are the pros of trading Cam Robinson?

The main reason the Jags might trade Cam Robinson is primarily financial. He's set to have a cap hit of $21.9 million, but moving on from him would clear more than $17 million worth of space with a manageable $4.6 million in dead money.

There aren’t many big fish free agents still on the board, but there are plenty of available players at wide receiver, cornerback, and interior lineman. The Jags could use some depth in those positions, and at this stage, most available veterans would probably come at a bargain.

Doug Pederson, though, might be comfortable inserting Walker Little in place of Robinson next season. In 2023, Little had a PFF grade of 58.8, not far behind Robinson’s mark of 65.4. Another alternative would be to plug in sophomore Anton Harrison at left tackle, a move he wouldn't be opposed to.

The cons of trading Cam Robinson

The biggest con about trading Cam Robinson would be throwing away somebody who’s been relatively dependable on the line when healthy.

Doug Pederson knows what Robinson is capable of. I’m not sure there’s enough evidence to suggest Walker Little can protect Lawrence and create running lanes for Etienne on a full-time basis, but he may be up to the task.

Little only gave up two sacks in limited action last year, though he will need to clean up his penalty issues, having been flagged seven times. His cap number next season is appealing, as it's just south of $2.5 million and his cap hit is below $750,000. On the other hand, there's no telling if the organization is certain he’s ready to take the next step.

Also, Little becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. The expression you get what you pay for may come to mind when we think about the debate between Little and Robinson. Conversely, Little could also prove to be a bargain.

Potential destinations for if the Jaguars trade Cam Robinson

If the Jags decide to move on from Robinson before the start of the 2024 campaign, there’ll likely be at least a few interested suitors. By all accounts, if he’s traded, he’d either go to a Super Bowl contender or a team being pegged to improve drastically this upcoming season.

At the top of the list for Robinson appears to be the Kansas City Chiefs. They are aiming to be the first NFL team to three-peat and they could use his services. 

The Chiefs Donovan Smith had an inconsistent 2023 and the Chiefs haven’t re-signed him. They don’t have a viable replacement for Smith, and Robinson’s experience might come in handy.

Robinson would also be alongside a familiar face in Jawaan Taylor, who left Jacksonville for big money in Kansas City over the previous offseason.

Another landing spot for Robinson could be in Baltimore. The Ravens lost Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson in the open market and like KC they are in win-now mode, so you’d think they’d want a veteran to step in.

The Tennessee Titans are likely to use their first draft pick to get an offensive lineman but rarely do players at that position thrive immediately after turning pro.

Jim Harbaugh’s LA Chargers have one of the best left tackles in the game in Rashawn Slater, but the other side could use improvement. Robinson could be an option even if has never played on the right side.

Cam Robinson is just one of many big decisions Trent Baalke will have to make between now and the beginning of the new campaign.

Here are more Jaguars offseason news: