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Jaguars should franchise tag Allen Robinson

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Allen Robinson tore his ACL in Week 1 during a contract year, but the Jaguars should franchise tag him anyway.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars-Training Camp Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost wide receiver Allen Robinson for the season with an ACL tear on his first catch of the game on Sunday against the Houston Texans. Robinson leaped to catch a pass from quarterback Blake Bortles coming across the field and either on landing or the follow through, tweaked his knee and went down before he could make it to the sideline. Reports later surfaced that it was an ACL injury and he would be done for the season.

Robinson, the teams best receiver, is a big blow for the offense even with being so run heavy. Not only is the loss of Robinson huge, but he’s on the final year of his rookie deal and the team and Robinson’s representatives discussed a potential new deal prior to the start of the season. Obviously nothing happened, so the assumption was the team would franchise Robinson after the season if they couldn’t work out a deal.

According to Michael Lombardi, the league-wide feeling was that Robinson would be franchise tagged.

The question now is what will the Jaguars do with Robinson, and personally I don’t think their plans should change. The Jaguars should still franchise tag Robinson to keep hold of him.

Yes, he suffered a major knee injury, but Robinson is the kind of wide receiver that shouldn’t really cripple. If the injury was to someone like Marqise Lee, who relies on quickness in his cuts and acceleration, I’d be a little more concerned. While Robinson certainly isn’t slow, he’s not a guy who won by running past defensive backs. He was a physical receiver who made contested catches and caught jump balls/back shoulder throws down the field.

Assuming it’s a clean ACL tear, there’s no other damage and he has a standard recovery... Robinson should be back to his normal self by mid-season 2018. I’m sure he will play early in the season, but back to his old self depends more on the mental aspect of trusting his knee than the physical part, but even then Robinson’s game should be unchanged.

Sure, it’s a financial risk putting the tag on a player coming back from the ACL, but by the time the team has to make that decision Robinson will be months into his recovery and they should have a good gauge of where he is at. The team’s cap space can allow for the gamble on a player like Robinson.

The last thing you want is to let another team gamble on the injury and come away with a really good receiver you had and developed, while you’re looking for a replacement.