The Jacksonville Jaguars have reportedly decided not to use their franchise tag on veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson, meaning the team has less than a week to negotiate with him or he hits the open market for legal tampering beginning Wednesday, March 12.
On the surface, it seems like bad. Like, monumentally bad. Robinson is the only receiver on the roster that commands an extra defensive back’s attention. His presence in the game means teams can’t stack the box like they did when we had guys like Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns, Keelan Cole, and Dede Westbrook taking snaps — all fine receivers, but not players who change an opposing defensive coordinator’s strategy significantly.
Was it the right decision? Here are some arguments for and against not using the franchise tag on Robinson today.
Players don’t like the franchise tag. It allows for a lot of money in one year than if that player signed a multi-year contract, but there’s zero stability. There’s little chance Robinson would average the nearly $16 million the Jaguars would have shelled out had he been tagged, but he receives much more in guaranteed money with an extension and the Jaguars want to continue working towards that.
The Jaguars want to continue negotiating in good faith and that includes not forcing Robinson into a one-year deal.
He’s far and away the best wide receiver on the roster, he forces opposing defenses to stay honest in the box, and if he hits free agency he’ll be the best receiver available. Feelings be damned, if you’re worried about one of your star players coming back from injury, you tag him and you sign him to an extension in the middle of the season.
Also, general manager Dave Caldwell said just last week they have the money to re-sign Robinson fairly easily. Why are you playing these games with your best player on offense?
What do you think? Was not using the franchise tag the right call? Or will the Jaguars end up regretting their decision to push negotiations to the 11th hour?