FA Expectancy – Allen Robinson

Updated: March 18th 2018

Our Free Agent (FA) Expectancy series is back! Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Probably the biggest news, fantasy-wise, was Allen Robinson not being tagged by Jaguars and then being signed by the Bears to a 3yr/$42MM contract. The community is excited about Robinson’s move but there are real questions about what realistic expectations should be for 2018. Out for all but one game in 2017 with an ACL tear, there is an expectation that Robinson will be back for week 1 next season. Still, every receiver needs practice time to acclimate with a new quarterback to develop routes and timing and we don’t know yet when Robinson will be available to start practicing at full speed. Moving to a new team with a new offensive scheme will require time to learn the playbook and hot routes as well. Even if he is back week 1 the expectations for ACL recoveries is that it takes two seasons before a player is fully healed and feeling comfortable with his running abilities. So are the expectations too high for Robinson in 2018? Let’s investigate further into the Bears to decide.

Declawed Bears

The Bears’ passing gaming last year in one word was “bad”. They ranked 32nd in attempts, 30th in completions, 32nd in yards, T-31st in touchdowns, and 32nd in 1st downs. Some of this was because the receiving group was decimated with injuries leaving Kendall Wright as the team’s leading receiver at 59-614-1. Mostly though, the team was just lacking talent at the position which left little weapons for Mitch Trubisky to develop with. Because of this, Allen Robinson will instantly become the focal point in this offense and could rival DeAndre Hopkins in terms of team’s target shares. The Bears also added Taylor Gabriel for a deep threat option, along with Super Bowl champion Trey Burton at tight end. They also hope that Cameron Meredith will be back healthy from his own gruesome knee injury to compliment Robinson as the slot receiver, though there is no timetable yet for his return.

There have been some early takes suggesting that Mitch Trubisky and the Bears will take a similar leap in 2018 as Jared Goff and the Rams did from 2016 to 2017. I think there will be an improvement to the Bears’ passing game in 2018 if only because it was the worst in 2017 but to go from bottom 5 to top 5 in one season would be a historic turnaround. Saying that if, and it’s a big “if” at this point in the offseason if Allen Robinson is healthy and Mitch Trubisky takes the usual leap for QBs from year 1 to year 2 he should return to his level of past years’ production soon. If you think Robinson’s value is too high right now you may have the opportunity to buy at a slight discount if he doesn’t meet his return to WR1 status in 2018. Like I said it usually takes two years for a full recovery from his type of injury and will also take time to become acclimated with Mitch Trubisky and new Head Coach Matt Nagy’s playbook. Even having a moderate stat line of 70-900-8 would be a good sign of him returning to full health by year two where he should return to being a 1,000-yard receiver. This would have put him just outside the WR1 territory last season and anything above that production would be gravy.

Jaguars in Flux

It is tough to understand what the Jags plans are looking into the future. After making the AFC Championship last season, mostly because of their defense, the team let their best young receiver in Robinson leave via free agency rather than at minimum tagging him to see what he could bring to their offense. They were able to have success without him so maybe they felt that his contract amount would be better used elsewhere to retain and bring in other key positions. However, the contracts that they were able to negotiate for Donte Moncrief, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Niles Paul are all short-term deals (1-2 years) and the deal they gave Blake Bortles could be forgone by 2019. This would suggest that they don’t have enough confidence in Blake Bortles long term and would rather wait and see which version of himself will surface next season before committing more money to the pieces around him. The Jags could find themselves in a similar scenario next season as the Vikings were before signing Kirk Cousins where they have an elite defense but can’t prop up their offense to reach the final game once the playoffs come around. Expect Leonard Fournette to have his fill at RB but at this point, the rest of the offense is a buyer’s beware market.


Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Leave me a message on Twitter @RSO_NickAndrews.

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