Left tackle Cam Robinson is officially locked into a contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars, putting pen to paper earlier today as the team continues through its offseason program.
Meeting with the media shortly following the signing, Robinson expressed gratitude and noted that it appeared the hard work is finally starting to pay off for him after being selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
“The hard work is starting to come fruition and it’s kind of starting to pay off. I am far from where I want to be, but I think for myself as a player and as a team can take it even higher and continue to build on what we are starting this year,” Robinson said.
For Robinson or any player, a contract extension is more than just a payday. It will help his family in more ways than are describable in words. A player works for nearly their entire life to get to the point Robinson is at.
According to reports, Robinson’s new deal with Jacksonville is a three-year deal worth a max total of $54 million.
“I am just excited. For my family, it’s hard for me to even put it in words. It’s a blessing and these are the things that you’ve been working for since you were a kid playing in little league or whenever you started playing the game. It’s kind of surreal, but it’s definitely an awesome moment for myself and my family.”
After being franchise-tagged last year, Robinson was slated to play on the tag yet again this season. But, he knew the team and his agents were working towards a deal and figured it would get done eventually.
“I kind of knew the whole time that this is the place I wanted to be long term if they would have me,” adding that even if an extension didn’t get done, he was never not going to play under the tag.
“It was just coming to agreement on the terms and conditions and just getting everything exactly how we thought it should be,” Robinson said. “It was just a process and I wouldn’t say I never thought I wouldn’t be a Jaguar, but we kind of had something we wanted to get done. It took a minute, but we ultimately were able to get it finished.”
The Jaguars have worked toward a new contract extension with Robinson for quite some time. Once head coach Doug Pederson was hired, the team went to work to figure out how to retain him.
Ultimately, Jacksonville opted to apply the franchise tender, preventing him from hitting free agency and were able to come to an agreement on April 27.
Now, Robinson will continue to work with the new regime in Jacksonville, hoping for greener pastures ahead. He’s experienced the highs and lows of playing for the Jaguars, from the AFC Championship game to earning the first-overall pick two years in a row. Those highs and lows mature you, he said.
“Coming in for my rookie year and especially coming in from the college level and the university I came in from. Walking into that and then going straight into 17, it seemed like that’s what it would be like that every year,” Robinson admitted.
“You go from winning and then we had a great year in 2017 as well. I know the years to follow that were kind of an up and down roller coaster. I think it just kind of taught me maturity and discipline and how to just keep my head down and grind my way through it.”
Under Pederson, though, and with the influx of talent that includes quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Robinson sees the positivity, and is encouraged by the direction of the franchise.
“Us bringing in Doug [Pederson] and of course Trevor [Lawrence], Trevor is awesome. I am just looking forward to Trevor taking that next step and us starting to build something special.”
That’ll be done, though, without his former running mate in center Brandon Linder, someone that had been by his side throughout his entire career. Linder would announce his retirement earlier this offseason in March.
“I am not even going to lie, that one hurt me,” Robinson said of Linder’s retirement. “When that news came through and me and him had kind of been talking all off season and I kind of had an idea but when it actually set in and reality set in, it was tough for me.”
“I am happy for him, but that’s going to be hard to replace. A lot of the things Brandon brought to the table is irreplaceable. Me myself as a leader, I kind of just want to carry on the things he taught me and help some of the young guys the same way he did for me when I first got here.”
Robinson’s leadership is part of the reason why Jacksonville wanted to retain him in the first place. In recent history, the Jaguars have allowed several key players that were selected by the team to move on, either via trade or otherwise. Robinson is one of the first players the team has invested heavily in, something that he says “feels great.”
“They kind of wanted to keep guys that could provide great leadership and that they know the guys character. I think they know my character and they know what I bring on and off the field, so I think that was kind of essential in getting the deal done. I think that’s ultimately what was one of the major things for them.”