The success the Philadelphia Eagles enjoyed last season in acquiring veteran wide receivers and converting them into key pieces in a championship season has upped the ante for wideouts this offseason.
Alshon Jeffery arrived in Philadelphia by trade and Torrey Smith by free agency and they combined to catch 93 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns last season to help accelerate the development of the Eagles’ young quarterback Carson Wentz.
So quality wide receivers changed teams in record numbers this offseason. And that was the subject of our Talk of Fame Network poll last week – which NFL team got the best deal on a wide receiver this offseason? Among the options were the NFL receptions leader (Jarvis Landry) and a Super Bowl hero (Danny Amendola). But the winner by a wide margin was Allen Robinson, who left the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency to sign with the Chicago Bears.
Robinson receiver 46 percent of the vote to easily outdistance Sammy Watkins, who left the Rams for the Chiefs, at 20 percent of the vote. Amendola, Landry, Jordy Nelson and three other options all received single-digit support from the voters.
The three Talk of Fame Network voters, as usual, couldn’t agree. Ron Borges voted Robinson, Rick Gosselin voted Landry and Clark Judge Amendola.
“Robinson was the best free agent pass catcher out there,” Borges said. “Too bad he doesn’t have a quarterback throwing to him.”
A second-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2014, Robinson started as a rookie but exploded in his second season with the Jaguars in 2015, catching 80 passes for 1,400 yards with 14 touchdowns on his way to the Pro Bowl. He caught 73 passes in 2016, then missed the final 15 games of the 2017 season with a knee injury.
Only 24, Robinson received a three-year contract for $42 million to move to the Bears, who signed him with the hopes he can help accelerate the development of their own young quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
“I’ll take Amendola,” said Judge. “I know he’s 32, but he knows how to win, has sure hands, plays big in big games, can return punts and comes cheap.”
Landry was scheduled to become a free agent this offseason but the Miami Dolphins slapped a franchise tag on him to retain his rights, then traded him to the Brown. He caught 112 passes for 987 yards and nine touchdowns for the Dolphins last season.
“The Browns figure to use the first overall pick on a quarterback,” Gosselin said. “What better security blanket can they give him than Landry, the receiver who caught the most passes in the NFL a year ago?”