Los Angeles Rams Sign Allen Robinson
Les Snead is a gambler. He thinks in bets. So signing Allen Robinson to a three-year/ $45 million contract should come as no surprise. This is a very Snead bet to make. Making bets like this is what won the Rams a world championship.
Of course, all this adds up to a whole litany of questions. Questions equal uncertainties, but they also equal possibilities. At this moment those possibilities are endless. So take a deep breath and get some popcorn because all the bets aren’t in yet.
The Elephant In The Wide Receiver Room
The Rams are adding Robinson to an already stocked wide receiving corps. Which has led many to speculate that the Rams will now look to trade away some of that depth to meet other team needs. The need that is on the tip of everyone’s mind is edge rusher. The edge rusher on everyone’s mind is Danielle Hunter. The Vikings are actively looking to trade Hunter before Sunday when his $18 million roster bonus would be paid out.
The Rams are a clear-cut trade partner. Former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is now the Vikings head coach and his offensive coordinator is Wes Phillips. He is also a former Rams coach. The question that arises from that is who would the Vikings want in exchange for Hunter.
Robert Woods seems like an obvious choice from a purely ‘business-of-football’ perspective. But, it seems like heresy to even suggest that the Rams would move on from him. Also, do the Vikings need a receiver? They have two quality receivers on the roster in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. They also have K.J. Osborn, an up-and-coming receiver heading into his third year. With the connection in the coaching staff, there is always the possibility that O’Connell and Phillips have their heart set on Woods or even Van Jefferson.
Regardless of who they trade with (if they trade anyone), those are the two that are the most likely to be moved. Cooper Kupp is more sanctified than Woods and the Rams have given only positive signs toward resigning Odell Beckham Jr. Also, Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell aren’t worth much as trade bait.
Outside of trading for an edge player, the Rams also have their foot in the door of the veteran cornerback market. As much as this rumor mill is currently swirling, there is a very real chance that the Rams roll into the season with all these receivers on the roster. Beckham is out till sometime in November (if he is even re-signed) and Woods is expected to make a return before the season starts, but there are no guarantees. Robinson could be the team’s insurance policy, much like Beckham proved to be last season when Woods suffered his injury.
Strength on Strength
Last season, the Rams unexpectedly added Von Miller to one of the league’s best pass rush. And the results were fantastic. Now they add Robinson to one of the league’s best receiving corps. Adding strength to strength is certainly a winning formula. It isn’t necessarily the most well-balanced teams that end up in the Super Bowl. That isn’t to say that the team doesn’t have needs that they should address, but a team can’t really have too much receiving talent. And make no mistake about it, Robinson is a very talented receiver and he does bring something new to the Rams corps. He will be the Rams tallest receiver at 6’3”, but to his height, he adds an incredible vertical. At the combine, his vertical jump was 39 inches. Throughout his career, he has put that ability on display when climbing the ladder against defenders. This is something that Matthew Stafford often had among his pass-catchers during his career, but the Rams were lacking that last season and in reality, they haven’t had a receiver like Robinson in years. Jefferson was the closest, but he lacks the strength that is needed to battle like Robinson does.
Robinson has managed to put together several good seasons of football while catching passes from some terrible quarterbacks. For the majority of his career, his quarterbacks were Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky. It is quite possible that Robinson will have a career year simply because of an upgrade there. He will also benefit from playing in Sean McVay’s offense. Robinson’s catch and run ability will truly be highlighted with all the room that McVay creates for his receivers.
Robinson has had three 1000+ seasons in his career including two back-to-back in 2019 and 2020. 2021 was a statistically down year, but Robinson was openly unhappy with his franchise tag from the Chicago Bears. He was targeted a career-low 66 times, and as reported by Jourdan Rodrigue, just 68.7 percent of his targets were deemed “catchable” by Sports Info Solutions. Despite this, he dropped only one pass last season.
This move seems to be signaling some more aggressive moves by the Rams front office. Stay tuned.