With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season is over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.
Player: WR Allen Robinson
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: Now that the trade is reportedly completed with Allen Robinson passing the physical with the team yesterday, we can talk about the addition of the wide receiver and what his presence will mean for the 2023 season and beyond.
I typically prefer to exercise caution in this column, not wanting to count a player in or out before they’re actually so, but the only thing that’s left for the Steelers’ trade for wide receiver Allen Robinson is an official announcement.
Pittsburgh reportedly swapped seventh-round draft picks with the Los Angeles Rams in order to acquire the ninth-year veteran wide receiver. As part of the deal, the Rams also agreed to pay $5 million of the remaining $10 million base salary he is owed for the season.
Though he is coming off some down years that can largely be tied to health and poor quarterback play, Robinson is still capable of being an effective contributor, and that’s what he should be in Pittsburgh—at least for one season.
The Steelers were open about the need to address the wide receiver position, but they weren’t sure how they would do it. It turns out, it wasn’t through free agency or the draft but rather via trade, because Robinson is going to be their new slot presence.
He is the most equipped on the roster for the job, which will allow Diontae Johnson and George Pickens to focus their efforts primarily on the outside. He also gives them a very experienced player who should be an asset both on and off the field.
But the question about his health is a fair one. Robinson hasn’t had the greatest luck recently and had surgery to repair a foot injury in December. Pittsburgh felt good enough about it to trade for him, but that doesn’t mean he’s good to go. They signed Larry Ogunjobi last year coming off a foot injury while knowing that he was still rehabbing, and it did affect his play.
With Robinson due $15,750,000 million in 2024, and the Steelers being on the hook for that, including a March $5,750,000 roster bonus, this is very likely to be a one-year pact. Both sides understand they have to make it count, including the player of course, because he wants to get a crack at another big deal in 2024. That’s not a bad motivation, really.