Sixth-year left tackle Cam Robinson has officially signed his franchise tender with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on 2017 second-round pick Cam Robinson just over a month ago, on March 8th. The franchise tender will pay Robinson just over $16.6 million in 2022, all of which will count against the salary cap. So unless the Jaguars get a long-term deal done with Robinson before the July 15th deadline, he'll be playing under the franchise tag for the second consecutive season.
Robinson has been the Jaguars' starting left tackle since his rookie season and has shown steady improvement over the last couple of seasons after a 2018 torn ACL slowed his early development. Robinson played the best football of his career in 2021 and did enough for general manager Trent Baalke and new head coach Doug Pederson to want to keep him around for at least one more year. At the league meetings last month, Pederson insisted that placing the franchise tag on Cam Robinson was not tied to the team's decision regarding the number one overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
"Experience and a guy that we know in Jacksonville, good relationship with the quarterback. It's hard to find really, really good left tackles in this league," Pederson shared last month. "And we feel like Cam is one of those good tackles, and we're just fortunate to be able to, you know, franchise him, keep him here, hopefully, work out a long-term deal with him, so he's around more than just a year. But keeping that and knowing his experience and knowing his expertise really made it easy for us to keep him around."
My take: This was always the most likely scenario. Whether or not the two sides can agree to a long-term deal before the deadline remains to be seen, and the progress — or lack thereof — on a new contract could undoubtedly impact the Jaguars' plans in the draft, not only with the first overall pick, but throughout. With Robinson locked in for 2022 and the addition of Brandon Scherff in free agency, I'd be surprised if the Jaguars take an offensive lineman with the first overall pick. Still, Doug Pederson knows the value of a deep offensive line, and I'd guess they'll take at least one or two offensive linemen in the draft. I've always been a fan of his demeanor and attitude on the field, but consistency has been an issue throughout Robinson's career. With Robinson's signing of the tender, it appears the Jaguars will have an average to slightly-above-average starting left tackle protecting Trevor Lawrence's blind side next season.
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