Whether you were looking at this crop of free agents or the upcoming class of draft prospects, Allen Robinson was the best receiver available this offseason.
Robinson is a proven top performer, despite commanding extra help from defenders and playing with an inaccurate quarterback. And while his ACL injury and salary demands might have gotten him to free agency, the risk will be worth the reward – especially if the reward is a player who can regularly catch 80 passes/year for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns (like Robinson did in 2015).
Player, Age (in 2018), Position
Allen Robinson, 25, wide receiver
- 3 years, $42 million
- $25 million guaranteed
- $14 million average salary
- Season stats: 1 game (1 start), 1 catch 17 yards
The 2017 season should have been a contract year for the ages for Robinson, but it wasn’t meant to be, as he suffered a season-ending ACL injury three plays into the Jacksonville Jaguars’ season-opening game.
- Career stats: 43 games (41 starts), 384 targets, 202 receptions, 2,848 yards, 14.1 yards per catch, 22 touchdowns
- Per 16 games: 143 targets, 75 catches, 1,060 yards, 8 touchdowns
- Notable achievements: 2015 Pro Bowl, NFL Top 100 (2016, No. 31)
- Pro Football Focus grades: 74.9 (2016), 87.5 (2015), 74.8 (2014)
From 2014 to 2016, Robinson ranked 14th in targets (383), 20th in receiving yards (2,831), and 11th in touchdowns. Impressive numbers considering his quarterback at the time, Blake Bortles, posted a 79.6 rating and completed just 58.8 percent of his passes during that three-year stretch.
Bortles threw for 2,771 yards when targeting Robinson in his four-year career and posted an 80.2 passer rating in the process. If Mitch Trubisky can show more accuracy when throwing to Robinson than Bortles did, Robinson’s numbers will improve – as will those of the man throwing him the ball.
— Allen Robinson II (@AllenRobinson) March 14, 2018
Outside of the ACL injury, which we discussed both before and shortly after his signing, the only other injury to sideline Robinson for an extended period of time was a stress fracture in his foot that caused him to miss the final six games of his rookie season. Robinson had successful surgery to repair the issue and returned to the practice field in short order.
Prior to the start of the 2015 season, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley noted how well Robinson was performing in practices after his return from surgery. His quarterback also heaped praise on Robinson, saying his top target was “unbelievable” in practice. If Robinson can bounce back from his latest injury with the same oomph he did his last, then watch out!
Cornerback Davon House dropped quite the compliment on Robinson, back when they were practicing against each other in Jacksonville.
House compared Robinson to “a young Brandon Marshall,” because of his go-up-and-get-it skills. If you’ll recall, Marshall made the Pro Bowl in two of the three seasons he was in Chicago. In his Pro Bowl years, Marshall averaged 109 catches, 1,402 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns in his age 28 and 29 seasons. Robinson will be 25 in August, so perhaps that kind of upside isn’t out of the question.
Prince Amukamara on Allen Robinson (they were teammates in Jacksonville in 2016): “Allen Robinson was a nightmare in practice, and I say that in the best way possible. … I think he’s definitely what this team needs. He’s a big-play guy."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) March 15, 2018
A nightmare in practice and a big-play guy, to boot? Welcome to Chicago, Mr. Robinson.
In an interview with SiriusXM radio, Robinson called the Bears a “perfect match” as both sides seemed to be pulling from the same side of the rope.
“We saw everything through the same set of eyes as far as the direction that Chicago wants to take this thing. My injury, everything, we saw through the same set of eyes, so that was a perfect match.”