This day had been written on the wall for a bit, but it is still tough to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars let a young talent go.
NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported early Tuesday morning that Allen Robinson is set to sign a three-year deal, worth $42 million dollars with the Chicago Bears. This officially puts a bow on Robinson’s tenure with the Jaguars, and speculation that he might return.
Robinson’s annual average value of $14 million per season puts him in the same class of other high profile receivers, such as Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant.
Robinson’s 2014 draft classmate Mike Evans inked a new five-year deal worth $85 million, edging just under the highest salary for a receiver in the NFL. One has to imagine Robinson’s deal would have been closer to this range if healthy, but coming off of a torn ACL, and a disappointing 2016 campaign, Robinson had to settle for less.
Robinson’s deal with the Bears will allow him to hit the market again at 27 years old, and i wouldn’t be surprised if there were some sort of opt out in the contract as well, to let him hit the market again even earlier.
With Robinson out of the picture, the Jaguars receiving group currently consists of Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, Jaydon Mickens, and Rashad Greene. With Hurns’ status with the team up in the air, and a rather inexperienced group, the Jaguars should be active on the free agent market for a veteran receiver.
Marqise Lee is always an option to bring back, and names such as Sammy Watkins, Paul Richardson, and Donte Moncrief have been connected to the Jaguars as well.
What the Jaguars do with the money they could have given to Robinson will be intriguing to watch. If they allocate the money into help with their interior offensive line, and weapons for Blake Bortles, it could at least soften the blow of losing Robinson.
I think letting Robinson walk was a mistake, but the Jaguars obviously had a price they were willing to pay, and it wasn’t going to be $14 million annually. This also creates another need for the team, and opens up the possibility of drafting a receiver at No. 29 overall even more. There is no doubt the Jaguars will have to improve upon the current group they have at the moment.