Most agree that the Pittsburgh Steelers received favorable terms in trading for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson II. Though he will be 30 this season and coming off some down years tied to poor quarterback play and health, he still has a lot of talent and could have a bigger impact in Pittsburgh.
And all they gave up for him was a swap of seventh-round picks. The Rams are even paying $10.25 million of what Robinson was owed this year, including a $5.25 million roster bonus, leaving Pittsburgh just $5 million to pay. In hindsight, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes teams outside of Pittsburgh are probably kicking themselves.
“I think if any other team would’ve traded for him, my reaction would’ve been, ‘Oh well, good luck’”, he recently said on 93.7 The Fan with Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller. “They must feel pretty good about what he can do in that offense”.
“Wow that they’ve basically stolen him, it tells me that other teams weren’t interested”, he went on. “I wonder how interested other teams would’ve been if they’d known that the Steelers were in on it, because that might’ve made other teams say, ‘Well, maybe there’s something here’”.
Granted, a large component of Florio’s argument rests upon the Steelers’ reputation for success at the wide receiver position, which has been elevated beyond its merits largely thanks to Antonio Brown. But that reputation does exist within league circles as well. And perhaps teams may also be surprised by what Robinson ultimately cost.
“With the Steelers doing it, I’m thinking they may have something here”, Florio said, adding that he shouldn’t be expected to put up his old numbers, but “he’s gonna be a nice complement to what they currently have. They’re gonna make a lot of people wish that they had taken a closer look and tried to get Allen Robinson”.
Though he’s been in the league for nine years, it’s worth noting that he’s only played more than 13 games in a season four times. Those four seasons do look pretty good, most recently in 2019-20 with the Chicago Bears and Mitch Trubisky as his quarterback. During that two-year span, he caught 200 passes for 2,397 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In addition to missing five games in 2021, Robinson also was subjected to playing with rookie first-round pick Justin Fields for most of the season. The Bears ranked 23rd in pass attempts that year, Robinson seeing just 66 targets.
Rams beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue was also recently on 93.7 The Fan to discuss Robinson, and she said that the circumstances leading him to Los Angeles and the manner in which the season played out more or less doomed him to failure.
She characterized it as a desperation signing without consideration for scheme fit, and with Matthew Stafford not throwing during the offseason, they were unable to build a rapport in a rhythm offense, which caused Stafford to increasingly rely on Cooper Kupp. Then Robinson himself got hurt.
Will he make teams regret not wanting to go after him this offseason, now knowing what the price was? Surely the Rams approached other teams and were willing to foot part of the bill all along. We will have to wait and see what the season holds, but the opportunity is there for Robinson to have a very solid year as the third receiver and to help jumpstart this passing game.