The Jacksonville Jaguars fought hard to keep Cam Robinson from reaching free agency. The team used the franchise tag on the offensive tackle in 2021 and then again in 2022 before finally signing him to a three-year, $54 million extension.
A year later, things have changed.
Robinson, 27, ended the 2022 season on the injured reserve after suffering a torn meniscus late in the year. In his absence, Walker Little took over at left tackle and the Jaguars offense didn’t miss a beat.
Now, Robinson is expected to be suspended for the beginning of the 2023 season due to a violation of the performance-enhancing drug policy.
With the veteran offensive tackle out of commission, the likely Week 1 starters at tackle are Little and the newest member of the Jaguars, first-round pick Anton Harrison. While the latter may have to beat out veteran Josh Wells for the role, it seems Jacksonville decided Thursday night that its starting duo of the future is Little and Harrison.
But what really signals the end of Robinson’s time in Jacksonville is the deal he signed last offseason. The veteran offensive tackle is due to count $22.75 million against the Jaguars’ salary cap in 2024, third most on the team. By parting with Robinson, Jacksonville could recoup $17.75 million of that total.
That’s a savings that’ll essentially be impossible for the Jaguars to ignore, especially now that it has a pair of young players at the position who were both early draft picks.
Perhaps that means a trade is coming for Robinson, or maybe it means that his final year in Jacksonville will be the 2023 season. Either way, the selection of Harrison appears to solidify that his time with the Jaguars is approaching its end.