Oct 26, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) carries the ball beside New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Before New Orleans Saints fans are quick to jump the gun, just hear me out. Yes, CB Patrick Robinson has been the most disappointing first-round pick in the Big Easy since Sedrick Ellis in 2008, but let’s be honest — you can’t really be too high on any defensive player at the moment after such an atrocious season. Granted, injuries were an issue, but these are professional football players we’re talking about here.
Out of all the guys hitting the free agent market, the Black and Gold took the biggest cap hit in 2014 from P-Rob at $2,804,333. Was he worth it? No. Will he be worth that kind of cash in 2015? Absolutely not, and I can guarantee that every other team in the NFL feels the same way.
Robinson is going to come cheap, and I think he knows that as well. He understands that he’s no Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman, and after such a disappointing start to his career, I’m sure he’s well aware of the fact that he’s lucky to have been responsible for such a brimming role.
The Saints had holes all over the defense in 2014. Other than CB Keenan Lewis, who struggled at times too, New Orleans’ secondary was appalling. Robinson played a leading role in that repulsive performance, but I do believe he outplayed Corey White, who should be demoted to water boy if the team doesn’t decide to cut him. I cringe when I hear that name.
Let me get this out of the way — I am not encouraging the resigning of P-Rob. He had a bad year, but he did show up on occasion toward the end of the season, finishing with 39 combined tackled, a team-leading (tie) two interceptions and 11 passes defended. That’s not at all impressive, but the team is incredibly thin at the cornerback position, which should and probably will be the the top priority this offseason.
Saints’ GM Mickey Loomis has a tough road ahead — getting the team under the cap (about $21 million over at the moment), financially accommodating RB Mark Ingram to preserve his talents in the Crescent City and finding free agents to repair a dreadful defense are all on the to-do list.
Again, with cornerback being the biggest offseason urgency, New Orleans will likely turn to the free agent market and to the draft, which means Robinson will be out of a starting job. Nevertheless, head coach Sean Payton and company will take all they can get to add depth to that position, so why not offer pennies to P-Rob? He’s not going to get much more from anyone else and he’s already familiar with the system.
Adding one solid, affordable starter on the other side of Lewis will do wonders for the defensive unit. Keeping Robinson would simply be for insurance purposes based on experience and knowledge of how the way things work in the Big Easy.
I am almost certain New Orleans will have a new face opposite Lewis in 2015. P-Rob will not be starting next year, but it is possible he will remain a Saint in a far less significant role. In my opinion, he is 100 percent suitable for a backup gig, and the organization can’t afford to lose depth at the corner.