Browns in Pursuit of Former Pro-Bowl WR to Pair With Cooper: Report

Getty Images Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and Kevin Stefanski.

After the Cleveland Browns pulled off an unexpected trade for superstar wideout Amari Cooper over the weekend, the team has now set its sights on another former Pro-Bowler to play alongside him.

Prior to securing Cooper Saturday, March 12 from the Dallas Cowboys for what amounted to a fifth-round pick in 2022 and a sixth-round swap in the same draft, the Browns were in hot pursuit of Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport Sunday, Cleveland’s interest in Robinson has not waned in the wake of Cooper’s arrival.

Rapoport listed the Browns as a “team to watch” in the Robinson sweepstakes, noting that the Las Vegas Raiders, Detroit Lions and New York Jets were also “in the mix” for the one-time Pro Bowl pass catcher.

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Cleveland Insider Refutes Reports That Browns Still Looking Hard at Bears Robinson

Allen Robinson

GettyChicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson is a top target in NFL free agency.

ln a development not uncommon across sports, politics or really any public arena in 2022, those “in the know” when it comes to the Browns disagree on how interested the team truly remains in inking Robinson.

Dan Wilkins of The Score predicted last week that Robinson would land in Cleveland on a four-year deal worth $66 million, with $36 million of that fully guaranteed. Two days after the Browns traded for Cooper and his $20 million annual salary, NFL analyst Mary Kay Cabot of reported that the team was less inclined to pursue Robinson due to financial constraints.

“Bears free agent receiver Allen Robinson was on the Browns’ radar heading into free agency, but not so much after they acquired four-time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper in a trade with the Cowboys,” Cabot wrote. “A 2015 Pro Bowler, Robinson checks all of the boxes, but the Browns wouldn’t have wanted to pay both him and Cooper, who’s $20 million salary will fully guarantee on March 20th.”

While more than $16 million per season might be cause for pause on a potential Robinson deal, the fact that the Browns just released five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry means the team will need to add another major piece to its group of pass catchers. And Robinson is clearly the best option left on the board.

The next 24-48 hours should make clear just how deep Cleveland’s interest in Robinson runs, as teams other than the Bears can officially ink the wide receiver to a contract beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, March 16.

Bears WR Robinson Coming Off of Down Year in 2021

Allen Robinson

GettyChicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson dives for a score against the Detroit Lions during a game in 2019.

Robinson, 28, has now played eight seasons in the NFL. While inarguably one of the most talented free agent wide receivers in this year’s class, he is also going to come as something of a risk to whichever team ultimately signs him. The reason for that is evident on his stat sheet.

Robinson posted close to career lows last year in every major statistical category, amassing just 410 yards and 1 TD on 38 catches. Each of those numbers actually ranks second-worst on the wideout’s career resumé behind the stats he posted during the 2017 season. That was Robinson’s fourth and final campaign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the franchise that drafted him, during which he appeared in only one game.

However, Robinson quickly returned to his old self after arriving in Chicago the following year. He put together two seasons between 2019-20, during which he tallied close to 2,400 yards and 13 TDs. While there is no guarantee Robinson can replicate that kind of production following a down year in 2021, at least one analyst believes it is within the wideout’s reach.

“Robinson is a fascinating free agent,” Wilkins wrote. “One of the NFL’s most underrated receivers, he’s ultimately been weighed down by some brutal quarterback play over the years.”

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