Why The Rams Likely Have No Choice But To Keep Allen Robinson For 2023

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allen robinson

One of the LA Rams big moves this past offseason was signing former Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson to a three-year, $46.5M contract.

The Rams had a need at receiver after Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and then hit free agency. Additionally, Robert Woods also tore his ACL in 2021 so the organization decided to trade him to the Tennessee Titans, believing Robinson would be a better bet due to health.

Unfortunately though, the Robinson signing has not worked out as planned as in 10 games this season he had just 33 catches for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He then was forced to undergo foot surgery, marking the end of his debut season in L.A.

Considering Robinson’s season went so poorly, the Rams now face a tough decision this offseason whether to keep him or move on. Given the nature of his contract, none of the options are great, but let’s break down what the possibilities are for Robinson and L.A. this offseason.

Cut him

In a perfect world, the Rams would be able to just cut Robinson and move on without many ramifications. That’s unfortunately not how the NFL salary cap works though.

Robinson had a very minimal $4.3 million cap hit in 2022. In 2023 though, that number jumps all the way up to $18 million.

If the Rams were to cut Robinson before June 1, he would eat $26 million in dead cap money. That would decrease to $18 million after June 1, which still isn’t feasible for a team with minimal cap space to work with.

Trade him

Since just cutting Robinson isn’t really an option, the Rams will probably look to trade him. The Rams were in a similar situation with Brandin Cooks a couple of years ago when they traded him and a fourth-round pick to the Houston Texans for a second-rounder.

Getting a second-round pick was great, but Cooks still carried a dead cap hit of $21.8 million for L.A. in 2020. Not to mention that he was a better receiver than Robinson at the time.

If the Rams were to trade Robinson before June 1, they would eat $11.2M in dead money and have a cap savings of $6.8M. However, if they trade him after June 1, the dead money hit would be just $2.8 million and the saving increases to $15.2M.

So ideally the Rams will trade Robinson after June 1, saving a ton of money but probably only getting a late-round draft pick in return.

Keep him for another year

The most likely option for the Rams is just keeping Robinson for another year and hoping he can rebound. The Rams have an out in Robinson’s contract after 2023, so if they keep him for one more season then L.A. would only owe him $8.4 million more if he gets cut.

Another reason that this is a likely option is that the Rams aren’t exactly stacked at receiver. After Cooper Kupp and Robinson, the Rams would be relying on Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek and potentially Brandon Powell if he gets re-signed.

While all of those are quality young players, none have shown they can be a true No. 2 in the NFL just yet. Considering Beckham has not yet signed elsewhere, he could also be an option for L.A. to re-sign if his knee does not heal quickly enough to join a team for the upcoming postseason run.

All in all, none of the Rams’ options this offseason for Robinson are great. It will be fascinating to see what they decide to do, but regardless, that is looking like the worst signing of the Sean McVay era.