Allen Robinson is a unique case in free agency this year, and the Jacksonville Jaguars seem resigned to not keeping him.
Major injuries during a contract year are obviously not ideal, but that’s just what happened to Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson as a torn left ACL kept him from finishing Week 1. As he heads into free agency, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo has reported the Jaguars are not expected to use the franchise tag on Robinson.
Robinson showed his chops as a No. 1 wide receiver during a breakout 2015 season, with 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and a tied for league-high 14 touchdowns. He had the same number of targets in 2016 (151), but his numbers fell to 73 catches for 883 yards and six touchdowns. It would be interesting to see what a healthy Robinson could do with a quarterback who is better and more consistent than Blake Bortles, and that possibility has to intrigue him.
The Jaguars not tagging Robinson backs up speculation from the team website suggesting they won’t resign him. In that case he won’t lack for other suitors, with the Washington Redskins the most recent to surface alongside the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears.
The have now informed Robinson of their decision not to tag him ahead of the deadline to do so Tuesday afternoon.
A long-term deal between the Jaguars and Robinson is not completely out the window, but it seems inevitable he’ll be going elsewhere with the potential to have a pretty robust market. The timing of his ACL tear could work to his advantage, as much as such an injury could be ideal, with the expectation he’ll be able to participate in training camp and Week 1 being precisely one year after his injury.
Time will tell if the Jaguars are right to not try to keep Robinson around for at least one more year. But he is in line to become one of the league’s highest-paid wide receivers next week.