The Eagles’ new No. 1 wide receiver blew up for 155 yards in Week 1, and A.J. Brown is tied to a contract that still leads the wideout market in fully guaranteed money ($56MM). Before moving to Brown, the Eagles look to have needed some other doors to close.
Allen Robinson has previously been mentioned as one of those doors, but the Eagles may have been close to a deal with the ex-Jaguars and Bears target. The Eagles were “deep in talks” with Robinson as the legal tampering period gave way to official free agency, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (subscription required). Von Miller‘s concurrent Rams negotiations impacted Robinson’s free agency.
The Rams were saving their top free agency slot for Miller, whose market came down to Los Angeles, Dallas or Buffalo. With the Rams long expected to retain the future Hall of Fame pass rusher and re-sign Odell Beckham Jr., it did not appear Robinson would be an L.A. fit. After Miller informed Sean McVay he was signing with the Bills on March 16, the Rams changed course and called Robinson that night, Rodrigue adds.
A subsequent McVay-Matthew Stafford video call swayed Robinson, who signed with the team March 17. Though, the Rams’ offer may have had more to do with his commitment. The Eagles were not prepared to outbid the Miller-less Rams for Robinson, and they again swung and missed (or checked their swing) on a veteran wideout. Robinson, 29, signed a three-year, $46.5MM deal with the Rams. The pact included $30.3MM guaranteed at signing. The Rams, who offered Miller a deal that included a higher through-2024 AAV than the Bills’ proposal did, later used some additional funds to add Bobby Wagner.
Philly nearly completed a trade for Calvin Ridley prior to free agency; the Falcons wideout’s gambling suspension nixed it. The Eagles also pursued Christian Kirk but saw the Jaguars submit a stunning offer to lure him to north Florida. The Eagles soon entered the DeVante Parker mix, but the Patriots’ willingness to include a third-round pick helped them land the former Dolphins first-round pick.
Robinson or Ridley being Philly-bound could have led to a ripple effect regarding Brown, who by draft time was at an impasse with the Titans. The Jets were the only other team connected to Brown, as they were connected to just about every potentially available receiver before the draft. But other teams probably would have entered the Brown sweepstakes as well, given the Pro Bowler’s talent and age (25). The Eagles ended up acquiring him, marking probably the franchise’s biggest WR swing since Terrell Owens in 2004. Brown is signed through the 2026 season. Brown leads a Philly receiving corps housing 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and free agency pickup Zach Pascal (but no longer Jalen Reagor).
Van Jefferson undergoing surgery prior to free agency also impacted the Rams’ entrance into the deeper free agency waters for Robinson, per Rodrigue, who adds the Rams’ staff viewed Jefferson as a 2022 wild card of sorts. Jefferson has since undergone a second knee procedure, and CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson notes (via Twitter) the former second-round pick is likely to miss at least one more game to start the season. That will place more on Robinson’s plate. Robinson’s first Rams game did not produce much (one catch, 12 yards), with Cooper Kupp still carrying the load. Stafford is by far the best quarterback Robinson has played with, so it will be interesting to see if the ninth-year pass catcher can move past his sluggish final season in Chicago.