Chad Johnson knows exactly which wide receiver the Atlanta Falcons should sign in free agency. Johnson, a former All-Pro wideout during his NFL career, even took his idea as far as Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank.
The Falcons need help at wide receiver since Cordarrelle Patterson and Russell Gage are still unsigned and therefore remain available on the veteran market. Their uncertain status is compounded by Calvin Ridley being suspended for at least the 2022 season after violating the league’s betting policy.
Johnson has the remedy, so long as Blank and general manager Terry Fontenot are prepared to raid the Chicago Bears. If they take Johnson’s advice, the Falcons will have to act quickly because this free agent pass-catcher is already drawing a queue of suitors.
Johnson Makes His Recommendation to Blank
Johnson knows a thing or two about talented wide receivers, having earned All-Pro honors and posted seven 1,000-yard seasons during his career. He thinks one player is perfect for the Falcons and hasn’t been shy about letting the boss know, according to his recent social media activity:
It’s a good idea because there aren’t many better wideouts on the market than Allen Robinson. He’s endured a rough, four-year spell in Chicago, with his Bears career blighted by injuries and having to catch passes from a slew of erratic quarterbacks.
Those wayward passers include Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Regardless of who threw the passes, Robinson was productive when healthy.
He made 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019. Robinson was even better a year later, hauling in 102 grabs for 1,250 yards.
Those numbers are proof positive of Robinson’s sure hands and ability to make plays. He’s excelled getting his hands on the ball even when faced with tight coverage, per Pro Football Focus:
Robinson’s track record is impressive enough to have teams lining up for him in free agency. His keenest suitors include the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Fortunately for the Falcons, they may offer the best landing spot because of the man under center.
Matt Ryan Would Answer Robinson’s Biggest Problem
Trying to connect with unconvincing quarterbacks has been a career-long problem. It didn’t just undermine his efforts with the Bears, but also with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Robinson spent the first four seasons of his career with the Jags. It meant catching passes from Blake Bortles. Numbers from PFF highlight what Robinson has had to work with:
It’s been tough sledding for Robinson ever since he entered the pros, but Matt Ryan could make the problem go away. Ryan has his critics, but the Falcons veteran is still one of the more accomplished starters in the league.
The 36-year-old is accurate and still has the arm strength to push the ball vertically. That’s not something Ryan has to do often in head coach Arthur Smith’s offense, so Robinson may be ideally suited to the scheme.
Fontenot has $16,057,973 worth of space to work with under the salary cap, according to Spotrac.com. There should be enough funds to strike a deal for a player not everybody may consider a true No.1 receiver the way Johnson does.
Spotrac also puts Robinson’s next contract at $16.3 million per year, but that could change after he went unsigned on the first day of so-called “legal tampering.”