The Las Vegas Raiders decided to play it safe in their defensive coordinator search and hired Gus Bradley. He has a long and extensive career as a defensive coach and spent almost four years as a head coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He didn’t have much success as a head coach but his players really took a shine to him.
One notable player who decided to send a message to Bradley after he got hired was Chicago Bears star wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Bradley was the head coach in Jacksonville when they drafted Robinson in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Though he’s not known as an offensive coach, Robinson had the best season of his career under Bradley. In 2015, the wide receiver caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. It’s easy to see why he’d have an affinity for Bradley. Perhaps the two could reunite this offseason.
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Could Raiders Target Robinson in Free Agency?
Robinson finished up his contract year in Chicago and it doesn’t seem likely that he decides to re-sign. He’s had very inconsistent quarterback play with the Bears and would probably like to put himself in a better situation. Though the Raiders drafted two wide receivers last year, they could be the better situation for him.
Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards were both disappointing as rookies. It’s a big question mark if either of them will develop into top wide receivers. Robinson, on the other hand, is one of the best in business. When he was in Jacksonville, he had bad quarterback play. In Chicago, it was more of the same. Despite those facts, he has accumulated over 750 receiving years in five of the last six seasons. Three times, he’s gone for over 1,100 yards. Simply put, Robinson is an elite wide receiver and the Raiders should at least think about trying to sign him.
Can the Raiders Afford Robinson?
There’s no doubt the Raiders would love to sign Robinson. Probably every team in the NFL would. The problem is that he’s going to cost a ton of money. The elite wide receivers are starting to get in excess of $20 million a year. Robinson will likely demand that kind of money and it’s hard to imagine he gets anything less than $18 million a year.
The Raiders could move off of a number of large contracts to create space but they really should use that money to fix the defense. If they didn’t use the No.12 overall pick in the last draft on Ruggs, maybe Jon Gruden could justify spending big money on a wide receiver. It would probably be wiser to try and re-sign Nelson Agholor for a much cheaper deal.
Gruden has stated in the past that he wants the best wide receiver corps in the NFL. Signing Robinson would certainly be a step in the right direction. Lining him up with Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and Ruggs would have the coach salivating at the idea. Unfortunately, the Raiders need to spend their money on defense and Gruden knows it. For as much money it would cost for Robinson, the team could probably sign Leonard Williams and a solid starting safety.