There’s at least one final update to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pending trade for Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiver Allen Robinson. Prior to today, we already knew the Rams were eating the majority of Robinson’s salary while the Steelers would only pay him $5 million for the 2023 season. The deal has not been announced by either team but seems likely to be made public by each team in the coming days.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, we have new details on exactly how Robinson’s contract will look. The Steelers will pay Robinson just a $1.165 base salary with a $3.835 million signing bonus. His 2024 contract has also been changed, his base salary reduced from $15 million to $10 million.
As Rapoport outlines, the Rams will be paying the majority of the deal. The draft pick compensation is also light, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles swapping 7th round picks and the Steelers moving down just 15 spots. The Rams were clearly just trying to dump as much salary as possible and get something for him and Pittsburgh took advantage.
As Dave Bryan speculated two days ago, Robinson’s deal also came with void years so it’s possible Pittsburgh restructured his deal to spread out the cap hit over those voidable years, lowering his 2023 cap charge.
Robinson is expected to be the team’s #3 receiver and see plenty of work out of the slot, though he’s versatile enough to align all over the field. His last two years have been marred by injuries and poor QB play, posting just 33 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns last year.
It’s the latest addition to a very busy Steelers’ offseason and the first big-name skill position player added this year by GM Omar Khan. Robinson will be another option for Kenny Pickett while serving as a veteran presence in the locker room. Likely, this is a one-year rental in Pittsburgh but his base salary being reduced for 2024 at least cracks the door for Robinson to stay if he were to have an unbelievable season. It’s a bridge the team can cross 11 months from now. Right now, they’re focused on 2023 and improving an offense that needs to make a big jump this fall.
Edited to add via Dave Bryan: While we don’t yet know for sure, the Rams may have paid $5 million of the $10 million base salary that Robinson was due in 2023 along with $5 million of the $5.25 million roster bonus that was due in 2023. From there, it sounds like the Steelers possibly gave Robinson $3.835 million of that $5 million due in 2023 in the form of a signing bonus and prorated it out over fours years. If this is indeed what happened, Robinsons 2023 cap charge would be $2,123,750. We don’t know for sure yet if the full roster bonus for 2024 is still in place or not as Ian’s tweet is super confusing the way it is worded.