JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In 2021, the Jaguars put the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson.
With that one-year deal expiring this offseason, the Jaguars now have the decision on their hands. Should they franchise tag him again, sign him to a long-term extension or go another route at the position? Beginning Tuesday, NFL teams have a 15-day window to use the franchise tag. It ends on March 8.
If the Jaguars opt to franchise tag Robinson again, he would get a 20% raise from what he was paid last year. That would bring his salary to around $16.5 million for 2022.
While the price tag sounds high, it is actually a bit of a bargain. According to Spotrac, Robinson’s market value for a long-term contract is $16.8 million per year over four seasons. That would give him a contract similar to players like Garett Bolles, DJ Humphries, Laremy Tunsil or Kolton Miller.
Retaining Robinson at the franchise tag price would make fiscal sense for the Jaguars.
Franchise tagging Robinson is not the flashiest move, but the Jaguars are not in a position where they can afford to let good players just walk out of their building. Robinson has been a consistent player throughout his career and is far from the weakest link along the Jaguars offensive line, a unit that will likely get a major restructuring this offseason. Robinson and both starting guards, Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann, are slated to be free agents.
If the Jaguars decide to move on from Robinson, they have a lot of options.
Walker Little is already in the building and showed a lot of potential in his rookie season. The Jaguars could go with a youth movement and slide the second-year player into the starting lineup.
The top free agent left tackle on the market will be Terron Armstead, who has had some injury issues and he will not come cheap. But Armstead, when healthy, is considered one of the top left tackles in the NFL.
Or there is the NFL draft. The Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick and could use it to select Alabama’s Evan Neal or NC State Ikem Ekwonu. Neal is considered by many to be the top offensive line prospect in the draft.