Steelers Open Additional Cap Space With WR Allen Robinson Move: Report

Allen Robinson

Getty ESPN's Field Yates reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers released wide receiver Allen Robinson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers preferred to retain veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson at a reduced salary according to The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov. But that won’t be what happens for Robinson and the team.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported on March 8 that the Steelers released Robinson. Before top 51 roster displacement, the move saved the team $10 million in cap space for the 2024 season.

Robinson was entering the final year of his contract with the Steelers. He recorded 34 catches for 280 yards in 17 games for the Steelers last season.

In addition to Robinson, the Steelers released veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson on March 8. With both cuts, Pittsburgh opened $16.85 million in cap space (before top 51 roster displacement).

Steelers Release WR Allen Robinson

The Steelers acquired Robinson from the Los Angeles Rams for practically nothing last April. In the trade, the Steelers and Rams exchanged 2023 seventh-round draft picks.

That was well worth the risk that Robinson could add a dynamic element to Pittsburgh’s passing game. Robinson had previously posted three 1,000-yard receiving seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears.

But that didn’t really come to fruition. Robinson had limited opportunities because of the struggles the Pittsburgh passing game had in 2023. Robinson also did little with the chances he received.

He averaged a career-low 8.2 yards per reception. He had never averaged under 10 yards per catch prior to 2023.

While Robinson was a decent blocker and good locker room presence, his production couldn’t justify the Steelers bringing him back on an $11.9 million cap hit next season.

“Robinson was a leader, willing blocker and made some key third down catches for the Steelers,” Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “But there was no juice in his game. Pittsburgh needs more dynamic plays.

“Wasn’t worth retaining even if he would’ve slashed his salary.”

Meirov proposed the idea of the Steelers wanting to keep Robinson if he signed a contract with a lower cap hit. It’s unclear as of March 8 if the Steelers tried to make that a reality or if Robinson was unwilling to agree to a smaller deal.

In 10 NFL seasons, Robinson has posted 562 catches for 7,028 yards and 43 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl with the Jaguars in 2015 when he led the NFL with receiving 14 touchdowns.

Potential WR Targets for the Steelers

The Steelers don’t have to replace a ton of production with Robinson’s departure. But there are also trade rumors swirling around Pro Bowl wideout Diontae Johnson.

Even if Johnson remains on the team in 2024, he will be a free agent next offseason. So, it would be surprising if the Steelers don’t add a receiver in some capacity this spring.

The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly named receivers Gabe Davis and Tyler Boyd as “tier 2” potential free agent targets for the Steelers. Kaboly also suggested Jamison Crowder as a possibility if the Steelers want to target another veteran slot receiver.

On March 8, Steelers Now’s Chris Ward wrote that the Steelers showed a lot of interest in wide receivers at the NFL combine. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested the Steelers as a potential trade up candidate for Washington wideout Rome Odunze, who could be a top 10 pick in the 2024 class.

The price to trade up for Odunze will likely be too high. But it wouldn’t be shocking if the Steelers signed a veteran wideout and then added another receiver on Day 2 of the draft.

Read More