JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - What's been reported for the past week became official Tuesday morning. The Jacksonville Jaguars have informed Allen Robinson that they will not be applying the franchise tag.
The deadline to make that decision was 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.
Now the question for Robinson and the Jaguars is what's next? The two sides still have until March 12 to work out a contract extension. If no agreement is made by then, Robinson will become a free agent on March 14.
What if the Jaguars had Allen Robinson last season? That’s a question that has likely crossed the mind of every Jaguars fan and most of the reporters who cover the team.
Robinson was lost for the year when he tore his ACL on Jacksonville’s first offensive drive of the year. Even without him the Jaguars made it all the way to the AFC Championship game without their No. 1 receiver.
That fact has likely come up in the negotiations for what to do with Robinson. Designating Robinson with the franchise tag would've cost the Jaguars $16 million for next season.
When the season ended most of us who cover the team thought it was no brainer that Robinson would return or at least be franchised, but that may not be the case.
“Allen is a great kid,” said Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell at the NFL combine last week. “There are a lot of things we like about him, but we just have to make sure it is the right thing for the team.”
That last line is a sticking point.
In addition to Robinson fellow receiver Marqise Lee is also a free agent. That potentially leaves Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole as the top three receivers on the Jaguars depth chart.
Here are four options in the event the Jaguars decide to part ways with Robinson:
Marqise Lee: When Robinson went down Lee ended up with a much larger role last year. He led the Jaguars in receiving with 56 catches and was second in yards (702). He won't cost nearly as much as Robinson but doesn't have the same upside.
Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams: Like both lee and Robinson the No. 1 question about Watkins is health. He’s still only 24-years-old and had eight touchdowns last season.
Paul Richardson, Seattle Seahawks: Richardson had a career-year last season with 703 yards and six touchdowns. The expectation is that Seattle will let him walk in free agency.
Terrell Pryor, Washington Redskins: Struggled with the Redskins last season but is only a year removed from a 1,000 yard receiving season with the Browns. He would likely be the cheapest option on this list.
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