Written by Jordan Rodrigue, Mark Capule, and Larry Holder
The Rams and Steelers are working to complete a deal that would bring veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson to Pittsburgh, a league source has confirmed to the athlete Tuesday. NFL Network was the first to report the news. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Rams had already paid $5 million of what was owed to Robinson in March, based on the structure of his initial contract. Two sources familiar with the negotiations said they will pay another $5 million ($10 million in 2023 money total) while the Steelers will collect the remaining $5 million. Teams will also trade seventh-round picks.
- A league source confirmed that Los Angeles gave Robinson permission in March to seek a trade the athlete on time.
- The Steelers have been given permission to grant Robinson a cash and a deal is expected if Pittsburgh is satisfied with the results, according to multiple reports.
- Robinson is in the middle of a three-year, $46.5 million contract (signed this past spring) that comes with a $15.2 million guarantee in 2023. The Rams have already paid $5.25 million of his 2023 salary, on a list bonus that was due in March.
the athleteInstant Analysis:
Robinson did not fit in with the Rams
Robinson clearly didn’t get along with the Rams, but some context is needed to put him after the stat sheet. The Rams—led by head coach Sean McVay, quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Cooper Cobb—pressed to sign Robinson in free agency last spring after losing to the arrogant Von Miller. They believed Robinson could pick up some of the role left behind by Odell Beckham Jr., who quickly emerged as a staple of their passing game when they signed mid-2021. But Robinson’s skill set didn’t match their vision of him in their attack, and moreover, Stafford wasn’t. Robinson was unable to get any pitching time due to an elbow injury that led him to a strict outfield count until the start of the game. 2022 season.
When the season began, Robinson’s role on offense wasn’t as evident as it had been in training camp — and often aggravating injuries up front meant Stafford was limited to the first read of his lead: Cobb. Robinson’s move, and the resulting pivot, should be a lesson to the Rams in hasty decision-making about their personnel and in what future they fit into the vision of their offense moving forward. – Rodrigue
Will he fit in with the Steelers?
This came out of the blue for the Steelers. They were interested in adding a receiver to the group headed by Deontay Johnson and George Pickens but many thought he would go through the draft. Instead, Robinson provides an instant veteran presence in the room that needed him. The trade was another big move for new general Omar Khan to provide weapons for quarterback Kenny Pickett. They have Nagy Harris, Gaylene Warren, Pat Freymuth, Connor Hayward, and Calvin Austin III to accompany Johnson and Pickens for an offense that went bad last year.
The Steelers pride themselves on having all of their receivers capable of playing all positions. However, a man with a hole is what they need most. Robinson’s hole shots have decreased in each of the past five years with the last year being almost exclusively outside until Cobb was injured. He is more than capable of playing in the slot, which the Steelers coveted. Robinson could have played more in the slot if he had stayed with the Rams as well.
The Steelers have shied away from throwing too much this past year. That won’t be the case this year with players with better skills and Pickett in his second season. – cantilever
Robinson Advanced Scales
Robinson did not live up to expectations during his first year with the Rams. But was it as bad as could be imagined?
The veteran receiver produced a projected points-per-goal average (via TruMedia) last season that came in at 0.20, which ranked 42nd among wide receivers (50 goals minimum). It is the same rate as his former teammate Cobb. Robinson’s EPA per target rate in 2022 is actually the second-best since his 0.27 average in 2019 as he caught 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns.
By comparison, Johnson ranked 82nd out of 86 wides in the EPA’s per-goal last year at -0.07.
Robinson and Johnson both played with some erratic play last season. Looks like Robinson still has some juice left under the right circumstances. Let’s see if Beckett is the correct adverb. – What is with you
Robinson, 29, had 33 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games before he had season-ending foot surgery in November.
Los Angeles is set to incur $11.2 million in cap money if they trade Robinson before June 1. The Rams have worked “rolling scale” trades in past moves, where the amount of salary a team absorbs is determined by the number/level of picks. This will be the case with Robinson.
The Rams signed him in March 2022 after he recorded 38 receptions, 410 yards, and 1 touchdown in 2021 with the Chicago Bears going 6-11. However, Robinson and the Rams’ plan to get his career back on track didn’t work out as well as hoped. Robinson suffered a stress fracture in his foot prior to Week 12 and missed the remainder of the season. He underwent minor foot surgery and is expected to be clear for stage 2 OTAs.
(Photo: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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