The Pittsburgh Steelers added a proven veteran to their offense as they acquired wide receiver Allen Robinson in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams. Robinson passed his physical Wednesday in Pittsburgh, according to ESPN, clearing the way to officially join the Steelers.
His arrival comes after the 29-year-old was limited to 10 games with the Rams in 2022 due to a foot injury. He was officially placed on injured reserve in late November after it was discovered that he would need to undergo season-ending foot surgery. So, it appears Pittsburgh will largely be examining how Robinson's foot has progressed before ultimately finalizing the trade.
The compensation heading back to Los Angeles is a seventh-round pick (No. 234). Meanwhile, Pittsburgh will get a seventh (No. 251) along with Robinson, per ESPN. The wideout signed a three-year, $46.5 million contract with the Rams just last offseason and is due $15.25 million in guaranteed money this coming season. ESPN notes that the Rams will pay $10.25 million of Robinson's salary and the Steelers will pick up the remaining $5 million.
Robinson entered the league as a second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2014 out of Penn State. His most productive season came with the Jags in 2015 where he caught 80 balls for 1,400 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdown receptions, which led to the lone Pro Bowl nod of his career. In 2018, he entered free agency and inked a $43 million deal with the Chicago Bears and did post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. For the Rams last season, Robinson had 33 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns.
This is a low-risk type of trade for Pittsburgh. They essentially swap seventh-rounders and are only paying $5 million to see if Robinson can look more like the player we saw back in 2020 when he was a member of the Bears. With Johnson and Pickens already in the fold, Robinson isn't being looked at as a top-two option in the Steelers passing attack, rather as a high-upside third option. Looking at Robinson's background of quarterbacks, it's also worth pointing out that Kenny Pickett is arguably one of the best passers he's ever had at the NFL level. If Robinson's healthy, it'll be fascinating to see how this offense improves as Pickett goes into Year 2.
This has been one of the worst signings in recent memory by the franchise. Robinson was limited to just 10 games in an injury-filled season for the Rams in 2022 and will be paid $25.75 million in cash for this brief tenure. While you can commend a team for cutting its losses, essentially paying two thirds of Robinson's guaranteed money for 2023 to only move up 17 spots in the seventh round isn't exactly the type of return you get excited about.