Jags don’t tag Robertson
The Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If Allen Robinson remains in Jacksonville, it won’t be as one of the highest-paid receivers in the league.
The Jaguars declined to use the franchise or transition tag on Robinson, stirring questions about his future. NFL teams had until Tuesday afternoon to tag pending free agents, but Jacksonville executives told Robinson long before the deadline he would not be tagged.
Had the Jags tagged Robinson, he could have signed a one-year, $15.982 million contract for 2018. Not doing so indicates how top executive Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell feel about Robinson; they don’t believe he is worth that much money six months after reconstructive knee surgery.
Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown ($16.775M) is scheduled to make the most of any receiver in 2018.
Jacksonville and Robinson still have a week to reach a contract agreement; the team has exclusive negotiating rights with him until March 12. If no deal is reached by then, Robinson would become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.
“I don’t really know what is going to happen,” Robinson recently said. “I know there are a lot of different scenarios. Right now, my main focus is to kind of let my agent narrow it down and for me to get back at 100 percent. That’s the main focus right now for me. I know I’ll be back at 100 percent.
“I know all that is going to play out. I know the player that I am. I know that the plays that I made. I know the plays I’m going to continue to make.”
Robinson had the best training camp of his career in 2017 and looked like he would be an integral part of the offense. But the 2015 Pro Bowl selection tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Jacksonville’s third play of last season and had surgery the following week.
Robinson is running again and closing in on a full recovery.
“He is right on schedule,” coach Doug Marrone said last week at the NFL scouting combine.
A second-round draft pick from Penn State, Robinson has 202 catches for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games.
n Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he won’t force his players to stand for the national anthem, even though he believes kneeling is an ineffective way to promote social justice. Ross’ comments Tuesday in a statement released by the Dolphins came after the New York Daily News reported he said all of the team’s players will stand for the anthem in 2018. In the statement clarifying his position, Ross said he regretted his comments in New York were misconstrued. He said he’s passionate about social justice, but believes kneeling during the anthem is an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists.
n The Carolina Panthers have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension with Pro Bowl kicker Graham Gano. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent and the team had considered using the franchise tag on him. The 30-year-old Gano is coming off his best NFL season, converting all 29 field goals from inside of 50 yards and 29 of 30 overall. He made 34 of 37 extra points. He’s spent the last six seasons in Carolina.
n The Baltimore Ravens have signed defensive end Brent Urban to a 1-year contract, less than two weeks before he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent. Urban’s four years with Baltimore have been marked by injuries. He’s played in just 25 games, and was healthy for an entire season only in 2016. Urban played in only six games in 2015 because of a biceps injury. After appearing in 16 games in 2016, he made his first three NFL starts in 2017 before a foot injury ended his season in September. Urban has 25 tackles, three sacks and has blocked two field goals over his career.
n NFL referees Ed Hochuli and Jeff Triplette are retiring. One of the replacements will be former back judge Shawn Hochuli, Ed’s son. The other is former side judge Alex Kemp. Ed Hochuli, among the most recognizable of NFL officials because of his muscular build, joined the league in 1990. Triplette came aboard in 1996. Hochuli, a lawyer by trade, originally was a back judge and moved up to referee in 1992. He worked two Super Bowls. Triplette, a restructuring consultant, became a ref in 1999.
n The Chicago Bears have placed the transition tag on veteran defensive back Kyle Fuller, giving them a chance to match any offer he might receive in free agency. The 26-year-old Fuller is considered a key player for Chicago’s defense. The tag, announced Tuesday, guarantees Fuller $12.9 million next season. Fuller can sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Bears get a chance to match it and they are expected to seek a multiyear deal. The team gets no compensation if they choose not to match.
n Once he was released by Jacksonville, running back Chris Ivory wasted little time moving on to Plan B: The chance to serve as LeSean McCoy’s primary backup in Buffalo. Ivory’s new deal guarantees him $3.25 million in pay, and was reached less than two weeks after he was cut. Ivory finished with just 382 yards rushing and a touchdown and was inactive for four of the Jaguars’ final five games. He lasted just two seasons with Jacksonville after signing a five-year, $32 million contract as the Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette last April and made him the starter.