* With the Super Bowl in the past and the 2020 season in the books, NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux and Ryan Homler take a look at 10 potential free agents that the Washington Football Team could benefit from signing this offseason. Next up: Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
2014 second-round pick from Penn State; Unrestricted free agent; 6-foot-2 | 220 lbs. | 27 years old
Back before the 2020 NFL season kicked off, Allen Robinson trade rumors reared their head as it appeared that the pass-catcher was unhappy with his current situation. Contract extension talks and offers -- which were more than well-deserved -- weren't exactly going well.
At that time, it was mentioned that the Washington Football Team should at least give Chicago a call and see if Robinson really was up for grabs. Whether the team did that doesn't matter as he played out the entire campaign as a Bear.
Now a few months removed, Robinson is a free agent. Just like prior to the season, Washington should be in on the sweepstakes for the wideout.
A lot changed for Washington throughout the 2020 campaign, but there is one thing that remained constant: The team still desperately needs another solid option at wide receiver.
In Robinson, Washington could get all that and more. Here are a few reasons why the wide receiver should be a focus of Washington's offseason plans.
He is a very good football player
The first and most important reason is that Allen is really good at what he does, and any team can always use more of that.
Robinson has dealt with some injuries in his career, leaving his rookie season in 2014 and his 2017 and 2018 seasons as outliers. Even in the 2018 campaign where he appeared in 13 games, he still hauled in 754 receiving yards and four touchdowns. That's more than most Washington receivers not named Terry McLaurin have done in recent years.
When Robinson is healthy, he's as productive as they come. In the four seasons he's played in all 16 games, he's had at least 70 catches and 880-plus yards. That includes a 1,400-yard and 14-touchdown season with Jacksonville in 2015 that earned him Pro Bowl honors. He's also put up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in Chicago and hauled in a career-high 102 receptions in 2020.
A versatile option, he's been able to excel all over the field. Working primarily as a No. 1 during his career, the top coverage and outside work has not really been a problem. Robinson can stretch the field, go up and compete for jump balls, work the middle areas and be a go-to option in the red zone.
Washington would immediately be getting one of the top pass catchers in the game, and at just 27-years-old, there is a lot of production left.
He can do it without a great QB
Chad Henne, Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky, Chase Daniel and Nick Foles.
That is the list of all the quarterbacks Robinson has worked with throughout his career, and it's not exactly filled with top-end talent. That body of work by Robinson is impressive on its own. It gets even better when considering what he's had to work with under center.
This could mean two things for Washington.
The first is that should Washington solve its quarterback problem this offseason -- which it very much needs to -- Robinson has a chance to only get better. A stable option will do wonders for everyone involved. He just caught 102 passes, and that is with Trubiskly and Foles struggling with accuracy throughout the season. Imagine what he can do with an elite-level talent at the position.
In addition, Robinson is someone that is worth adding no matter who is the quarterback. To reiterate, getting a passer is key for Washington this offseason. Yet, if the team is unable to completely lockdown that spot, Robinson has proven that he's still more than capable of performing.
His presence will elevate the offense no matter who is throwing to him.
He will help Terry McLaurin grow
McLaurin has been the No. 1 receiver in Washington basically from the moment he arrived, and rightfully so. The arrival of Allen could potentially create a debate as to who is the true No. 1, but what really matters is that it's a winning situation for McLaurin.
The wideout was able to put up a 1,000-yard season in Year 2, but what also became clear is that the lack of offensive weapons Washington possessed made it easy for defenses to shift a lot of the focus toward McLaurin. There were four games in 2020 in which he was under 40 yards.
While McLaurin is incredibly talented and will only get better at shaking off coverage, double teams and top corners every week is enough to impact any pass catcher. With Robinson, that attention lessens. Not only are double teams less likely, but teams may even shift the No. 1 corner to the other side of the field.
With both lining up on offense, it would be a "pick your poison" situation for the defense. Iron sharpens iron and Robinson coming to Washington could potentially allow McLaurin to see more success.
Ron Rivera plans on Washington being in on major free agents this offseason, and Robinson is certainly that. Even if the price is a little steep (four years, $84 million projected by PFF), the benefits for the offense will pay dividends all-around.
Other Free Agent Targets: