Greg Robinson

North Notes: Robinson, Thielen, Browns

Allen Robinson sounds confident the he and the Bears will discuss an extension at some point. The sixth-year wide receiver has enjoyed his best season since 2015, averaging 70.8 yards per game and having become the Bears’ most reliable skill-position player. The 27-year-old wideout sounds willing to wait, however. He is signed through the 2020 season.

My focus is just to finish the season strong, and I am sure at some point in time whether it’s my agent starting it or them, it will be talked about,” Robinson said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “There is a good amount of time. So many different scenarios can play out. The time will come.”

Although no guaranteed money remains on Robinson’s three-year, $42MM deal, he is set to earn $10.9MM in base salary next season and is certainly not at risk of being released.

Here is the latest from the North divisions:

  • Adam Thielen‘s last game featuring double-digit snaps came in Week 6, but the Vikings‘ highest-paid skill-position player is trending in a better direction for Monday night’s game. Battling a hamstring injury, Thielen returned to practice Friday and got in two limited workouts this week. He does not expect to be a game-time decision, per Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter), so the Vikings (and certain fantasy owners) may have some advance notice. Thielen will see his 1,000-yard streak likely stop after two seasons, but the 29-year-old standout is certainly pivotal to Minnesota’s hopes at winning the NFC North.
  • This will not be the week David Njoku returns to the Browns’ skill-position arsenal. The Browns did not activate their top tight end by Saturday afternoon’s deadline, so he will miss another game. With Njoku having returned to practice on Nov. 20, the Browns do not have to activate him until Dec. 10. If Njoku is not activated by then, he will spend the rest of the season on IR. The third-year tight end underwent surgery for a broken wrist during his IR stay.
  • Cleveland will be without left tackle Greg Robinson as well. The oft-scrutinized former No. 2 overall pick did not practice this week and will remain in concussion protocol through Week 13. Kyle Murphy started for Robinson at left tackle when he was benched earlier this year. The Browns, however, gave the sixth-year blocker his job back soon after.
  • Yet another Andre Smith stint with the Bengals will come to an end. The winless team waived the veteran tackle on Saturday.

Browns To Revert To Greg Robinson At LT

After benching left tackle Greg Robinson for last week’s loss to the Patriots, the Browns are putting him back in the starting lineup, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson (via Twitter). Justin McCray replaced Robinson and did not fare particularly well against New England’s fierce defensive front, though that unit would have posed problems for just about anyone. Cleveland’s offensive line as a whole allowed Baker Mayfield to be sacked five times, and the team’s coaching staff obviously believes Robinson will do a better job of protecting Mayfield’s blindside.

Before his benching, Robinson allowed only one sack and two quarterback hits, but he yielded 10 pressures and was flagged five times for holding. Despite these numbers, Pro Football Focus had Robinson graded as its No. 27 overall tackle.

The Browns were looking for an upgrade at LT prior to the trade deadline, but they were unable to swing a deal. Instead, they will hope for improvement from Robinson, who was solid in his first season with the Browns in 2018.

Cleveland, 2-5, will look to right the ship against the Broncos this afternoon. Denver has notched 17 sacks on the season, ninth-most in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Bench LT Greg Robinson

As the Browns attempt to land a new left tackle via trade, they will use a different starter against the Patriots. Greg Robinson will be a backup Sunday, he confirmed (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, on Twitter). This was in the cards for a bit now, but the Browns have followed through with the change.

Former UDFA Justin McCray is expected to take over. The Browns, who started UDFA Desmond Harrison last season before pivoting to Robinson, acquired McCray via trade with the Packers just before the season. However, they have been linked to both Trent Williams (for a while now) and Nate Solder via trade. John Dorsey plans to add a tackle before Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline.

The Browns’ Robinson experiment has not gone especially well. The team managed to release its left tackle starter in a procedural move before the season and re-sign him soon after, appearing confident another team would not swoop in. While the former No. 2 overall pick has only allowed one sack and two quarterback hits, he has yielded 10 pressures and been flagged five times for holding. Despite these numbers, Pro Football Focus has Robinson graded as its No. 27 overall tackle.

McCray has spent time at guard as well during his career. The 27-year-old Central Florida alum has made 14 career starts for the Packers and Browns. Should he get the call Sunday, it would certainly be a difficult assignment — against a Patriots defense on a historic pace.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Redskins OT Trent Williams

The Redskins continue to “stonewall” rival clubs that have inquired on the availability of left tackle Trent Williams, according to Albert Breer of (Twitter link), who adds Williams’ trade value is difficult to ascertain given that Washington hasn’t truly engaged in any substantive conversations with other teams.

Just last week, Redskins president Bruce Allen reiterated his club has not had any “dialogue with any other team” regarding Williams and indicated Washington is not actively shopping the veteran offensive lineman. The Redskins have long maintained that they have no interest in dealing Williams despite his season-long holdout and his displeasure with the team.

The Browns have been mentioned as a likely suitor for Williams in the event he does become available, and despite Allen’s assertion, Cleveland has had talks with Washington about Williams. Asked today about his talks with the Redskins, Browns general manager John Dorsey said, “We’ve had a few conversations,” as Jeremy Fowler of tweets. However, Dorsey also said “it takes two to tango,” once again indicating the Redskins aren’t especially interested in moving Williams.

Cleveland is currently deploying Greg Robinson at left tackle, but that could soon change. Robinson either has been or will soon be benched, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Pro Football Focus grades Robinson as the No. 22 tackle among 73 qualifiers, the former No. 2 overall pick doesn’t have a record of above-average production. As a unit, the Browns offensive line ranks 19th in adjusted line yards and 24th in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders, but ninth in pressure rate allowed.

Williams, 31, has spent all nine years of NFL career in the nation’s capital. A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is under contract through next season. He’s due the remainder of a $10.85MM base salary in 2019 and $12.5MM in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Re-Sign Greg Robinson

One of the most surprising cuts of Sunday has been un-done. The Browns re-signed Greg Robinson, per the league’s transactions wire.

Robinson was, and is, expected to start at left tackle for the Browns. However, in order to reshuffle their roster, they exploited the vested-veteran loophole regarding guaranteed money. Because Robinson was not subject to the waiver wire, they were able to take advantage and come away with the 53-man roster they wanted.

The former No. 2 overall pick has not come close to living up to that draft slot, but he did well in the Browns’ first post-Joe Thomas season. He’ll look to build off of that this year following his 24-hour unemployment stretch.

Browns To Release Greg Robinson

Projected to be the Browns’ Week 1 left tackle, Greg Robinson is now off Cleveland’s 53-man roster. The Browns are releasing the former No. 2 overall pick, Field Yates of tweets. However, this is not expected to be much more than a procedural move.

The Browns intend to re-sign Robinson, Tom Pelissero of adds (via Twitter). This move is almost certainly related to the vested-veteran loophole regarding guaranteed money. Robinson is still expected to be Cleveland’s left tackle starter, per Pelissero. This move will allow the Browns to reshuffle their roster without sending a non-vested veteran to the waiver wire.

Robinson re-signed with Cleveland for one year and $7MM earlier this year. He did not beat out rookie UDFA Desmond Harrison to be the team’s initial post-Joe Thomas left tackle starter but did take over that role midseason. Barring a trade, Robinson will be back with the Browns’ first-string line on Sunday.

North Notes: Rudolph, Browns, Packers

Kyle Rudolph isn’t going anywhere. We heard earlier today that the Vikings had asked Rudolph to take a pay-cut, but his management team is pushing back forcefully on those rumors. Rudolph’s agent, Brian Murphy, released a statement saying “despite rumors, Vikings are not in negotiations with Kyle Rudolph, have not asked him to take a pay reduction and have told us explicitly that Rudy will not only be on the team this year, but hopefully for years to come,” via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

It’s a strong statement, and it doesn’t leave much room for doubt. Rudolph is scheduled to make $7.275MM next season and the Vikings have almost no salary cap space, but they’ll apparently have to create room somewhere else. Rudolph has spent the last eight seasons in Minnesota after the Vikings took him in the second round of the 2011 draft. He hasn’t been in the top-tier of tight ends, but he’s been a solid and consistent player, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2017. Rudolph has also been very durable recently, appearing in all 16 games in four straight years.

Here’s more from around the league’s northern divisions:

  • Greg Robinson signed a one-year deal to return to the Browns a couple of weeks ago, and now we have the details on the contract. Interestingly, his new pact includes $500K in weigh-in bonuses, according to Dan Graziano of (Twitter link). Robinson will have weigh-ins around once a month starting in April all the way through the regular season, which suggests Cleveland wasn’t too happy with the weight he played at last year. Robinson’s deal has a base salary of $5.5MM with a $500K signing bonus, $400K in per-game roster bonuses, and a $100K workout bonus. He could face competition from a rookie, but right now the former second overall pick projects as the team’s starting left tackle.
  • Speaking of the Browns, the status of receiver Breshad Perriman is still up in the air. The former first round pick and draft bust with the Ravens revitalized his career in Cleveland last year, but is now set to be an unrestricted free agent. The “two sides aren’t close” on a deal, but Perriman “wants to be back, and realizes that Baker Mayfield helped him resuscitate his career,” according to Mary Kay Cabot of Kay Cabot writes that Perriman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, “wants to let the market” set the price for the 25-year-old receiver. After joining the Browns mid-season, Perriman had 233 yards and two touchdowns the final four weeks of the year.
  • The Packers have reportedly expressed interest in Chiefs pass-rusher Dee Ford. But trading for Ford, who has been franchise-tagged by Kansas City, may prove difficult for Green Bay. Any team that trades for Ford is likely to try and sign him to a longterm deal, but the Packers don’t usually like longterm deals with a ton of guaranteed money and prefer to structure deals with large signing bonuses instead, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). That could be a problem because as Rapoport points out, Ford has the same agent as Le’Veon Bell, and the agent takes a very strong stance on the need for more guaranteed money in deals. None of this means the Packers won’t be able to trade for Ford, but it’s an interesting note nonetheless, and it could force them to turn their focus elsewhere as they look for pass-rushing help.

Browns Re-Sign Greg Robinson

The Browns have re-signed tackle Greg Robinson, according to his agents. It’s a one-year deal with a $7MM base value, Ian Rapoport of tweets. With playing incentives, the deal could reach up to $9MM. 

Robinson, 27 in October, hooked on with the Browns on a low-cost, one-year deal last year. He wound up appearing in all 16 games and started every game in the second half of the year in Desmond Harrison‘s stead.

The former No. 2 overall pick has not come close to living up to that draft slot, but he did show something in the Browns’ first post-Joe Thomas season. Pro Football Focus graded Robinson as its No. 63 tackle (out of 80 full-time qualifiers) in 2018.

Robinson was on the fringes of the NFL when he signed with Cleveland, but his career may finally be getting back on track. The Browns will work with him to try to keep the penalties down (ten penalties from Week 10 onward), but they believe his size will help to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield in the pocket.

Before joining the Browns, Robinson started in 42 of his 46 games for the Rams and made six starts for the Lions in 2017 before suffering an ankle injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Discussing Deals With Rashard Higgins, Breshad Perriman, Greg Robinson

The Browns signed former first-round picks Greg Robinson and Breshad Perriman on low-cost, one-year deals in 2018. They are interested in longer-term partnerships.

John Dorsey said (via Mary Kay Cabot of discussions with both players’ representatives are ongoing, along with RFA-to-be Rashard Higgins.

Robinson said recently he wants to stay in Cleveland. The former No. 2 overall pick has not come close to living up to that draft slot but did start the final eight Browns games at left tackle, replacing rookie UDFA Desmond Harrison in the team’s first post-Joe Thomas season. Pro Football Focus graded Robinson as its No. 63 tackle (out of 80 full-time qualifiers) this season.

Sometimes you have to be a little patient with guys like that. You have to earn their trust,” Dorsey said of Robinson. “He did everything he was asked and everything we thought he would since we signed him in late June.”

Added after a dismal Ravens stay, Perriman averaged 21.3 yards per catch with the Browns. Two of his 16 receptions went for touchdowns. While Perriman’s stock is nowhere near what it was coming into the league, the oft-injured wideout played well down the stretch with Cleveland. He recorded two two-catch, 75-plus-yard games in the Browns’ final four contests. If retained, Perriman would fit in as an auxiliary weapon alongside Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway.

Although Higgins was a Sashi Brown-era investment, he may figure into Dorsey’s plans — either on a tender or longer-term pact. The former fifth-round pick enjoyed his most productive season in 2018, hauling in 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. While Higgins was the Browns’ fourth-leading receiver, each of those figures represented career-high marks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Rumors: Gordon, Corbett, Robinson

Josh Gordon remains away from the Browns as they enter the second week of training camp, but the team remains confident its oft-unavailable wideout will show up in Berea, Ohio, at some point during camp. John Dorsey reaffirmed during a radio interview Friday that the 27-year-old pass-catcher will be at camp. But no timetable has been announced. Browns camp runs until August 15, though it’s unclear if Dorsey meant Gordon will return by camp’s conclusion or merely before the regular season begins.

I told you he’d be here, and he will be here,” the Cleveland GM said during an interview with 92.3 The Fan (via the Lorain Morning Journal). “… I haven’t talked to Josh Gordon; I’m going to respect his privacy. I admire what he’s doing here because he’s taking care of the long-term interest of his person.”

Gordon is believed to be at a rehab center in Gainesville, Fla., and his return status may not be entirely up to him. Roger Goodell could well have a say, complicating matters for a player who’s endured one of the more complicated careers in modern NFL history.

Here’s the latest out of Cleveland:

  • The Browns moving to their “Plan Z” so fast — sliding Joel Bitonio to left tackle — will prompt them to move second-round pick Austin Corbett into Bitonio’s old spot. Corbett is now working as the team’s starting left guard, Mary Kay Cabot of reports. The left side of the Browns’ line is now comprised of former Nevada starting tackles, with Corbett taking over as the Wolf Pack’s left tackle for Bitonio in 2014 after he was a Cleveland draft choice. Corbett did not see time at guard in college but was considered a prospect who could make the transition inside in the pros.
  • Given the first chance to succeed Joe Thomas, Shon Coleman was not progressing like the Browns hoped, per Cabot. Cleveland’s right tackle starter last season, Coleman seems likely to now become a swing backup. But Hue Jackson suggested Greg Robinson, who’s been out for most of camp due to a concussion, may get a chance to potentially move Bitonio back to guard. Though, this move doesn’t look to be an experiment. “It’s full speed ahead with Joel,” Jackson said. “But Greg will factor into that. He hasn’t practiced enough. I don’t know enough about him yet to say if he can or he can’t.”
  • Duke Johnson would prefer to be a full-time slot receiver, rather than serving as a running back/receiver, per Dan Labbe of With Jarvis Landry around, it doesn’t seem like the recently extended passing-down running back’s role will be changing anytime soon. Johnson took 82 handoffs last season but caught a career-high 74 passes.