2018 NFL CONTRACT PROJECTION: Free Agent WR Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson Measurables

– Height: 6-3
– Weight: 220
– Age: 24
– Experience: 4 seasons
– Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
– 1-Time Pro Bowler

Jacksonville Jaguars Projected Cap Space (Top 51): $16.9M (per Over The Cap)

Allen Robinson Profile

Season-ending ACL surgery is far from the ideal way to start a contract year. Allen Robinson suffered this fate, catching one pass in 2017. Robinson was looking to bounce back from a down 2016 season. The one silver lining? The injury occurred in Week 1, giving Robinson ample time to heal and be ready for the start of the 2018 season.

A 2nd-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Robinson has the size, length, and athleticism to be a true difference maker in the passing game. He’s impressive completing catches through contact, whether that be with other players or the ground.

His 6-3, 220-pound frame allows Robinson to box defenders out, while his 39” vertical and rare body control make him an elite 50/50 receiver. The Penn State product makes the acrobatic look routine at times. He’s struggles with drops at times during his career but has immense potential as a #1 receiver.

During the 2015 season, Robinson emerged as a budding star, recording 80 catches, 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, the latter of which tied for the league lead. The 2016 production decline (73 rec, 883 rec yards, 6 TD) and 2017 ACL have led to questions about his ability to replicate 2015.

The Jaguars were a possession away from the Super Bowl last season, all while lacking a true first option in the passing game. Keelan Cole filled in admirably down the stretch, but Robinson is simply a different caliber player. However, the serious knee injury and one-year of elite production remain questions Robinson carries into negotiations.

Allen Robinson Production

Receiving & Rushing Table
Game Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year Age Tm G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD
2014 21 JAX 10 81 48 548 11.4 2
2015* 22 JAX 16 151 80 1400 17.5 14
2016 23 JAX 16 151 73 883 12.1 6
2017 24 JAX 1 1 1 17 17.0 0
Care Care 43 384 202 2848 14.1 22

Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com

Wide Receiver Market

The #1B receiver market has been quite rewarding. Allen and Jeffery had each missed 10+ games in the two seasons prior to signing their deals (2015-16 for Jeffery), so they went to the table with similar injury concerns. Since 2014, we’ve seen Keenan Allen, Jordy Nelson, and Jeremy Maclin each post 1,250+ receiving yards in the season following an ACL injury.

Player Comparables: PHI Alshon Jeffery, IND T.Y. Hilton, LAC Keenan Allen

Contract Comparison 

Player Year Age Years Total APY GTD Full GTD 1st 3 2018 APY
Alshon Jeffery 2017 27 4 $52.3M $13.1M $27.3M $14.5M $35.5M $13.1M
T.Y. Hilton 2015 26 5  $65.0M  $13.0M $38.0M $11.0M $38.0M $16.2M
Keenan Allen 2016 24 4 $45.0M $11.3M $20.7M $20.7M $29.7M $12.9M
Averages   25.7 4.3 $54.1M  $12.5M   $28.7M   $15.4M  $34.4M  $14.1M 

Contract information from OverTheCap.com 

2018 Cap Adjusted Annual Salary: $14.1 million

Statistical Comparison (Two Year Averages Before Deal)

Robinson is one of three active players with 1,400+ receiving yards and 14+ touchdowns in a season, along with Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Marshall. His numbers compare favorably to Jeffery, Hilton, and Allen even considering his down 2016.

Player Seasons Tgts/Game Rec/Game Rec YPG Yds/Rec Rec TD/Game YAC/Rec
Alshon Jeffery 2016-17 7.6 3.9 57.5 14.8 0.4 3.7
T.Y. Hilton 2013-14 8.7 5.3 78.3 14.8 0.4 4.6
Keenan Allen 2014-15 9.5 6.5 68.5 10.5 0.4 3.8
Averages   8.6 5.2 68.1 13.4 0.4 4.0
Allen Robinson 2015-16 9.4 4.8 71.3 14.9 0.6 3.7 


Leverage

Just to reiterate: the open market is a player’s best friend. Robinson’s red flags will be used to drive down his value, but his talent will make a team come out of pocket. Robinson will be leaning on his 2015 tape and production in negotiations.

Reservation Price

Should the Jaguars choose to apply the franchise tag to Robinson, it could provide a $16.2 million (projection from Joel Corry) opportunity to prove he’s an elite player at the position who deserves to be paid at the top of the market.

If the team opts not to tag him, there will be a market for Robinson. If that market doesn’t develop as he would hope, Robinson could be a candidate to sign a one-year, prove-it deal.

Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor did the same a year ago, with varying results. Jeffery signed a $52 million extension, while Pryor is on the market again after one non-existent season in the Redskins offense.

Salary Floor: $11 million per year

When Keenan Allen signed his contract, he hadn’t ever put together the type of season Robinson did in 2015. If Jacksonville or another team is talking in this range, Robinson should keep it moving.

Salary Ceiling: $15 million per year

It’s feasible that Robinson gets past Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas at the $14 million mark, especially in a bidding situation. 

Contract Projection

Robinson could be a nightmare with an elite quarterback. The Jaguars would be wise to franchise Robinson and not let him hit the market. He’s shown too much potential to let walk out of the door.

Should a long-term deal be agreed upon, it should fall in the $14-million-per range. Robinson’s age and production compares favorably the three comparables

4 years, $56.4 million; $14.1 million APY, $20.0 million fully guaranteed

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