Laurent Robinson won't be returning to the Cowboys in 2012. News reached us via Adam Schefter that Robinson signed a five-year, $32.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Given the run on wide receivers in free agency so far, Robinson had become a hot commodity, and there was no way the Cowboys were going to match the Jaguars' offer.
And while it would have been nice if the Cowboys had been able to retain Robinson at some kind of a bargain rate, it didn't happen - and according to ESPN's Dan Graziano, it's not that big of a deal anyway:
Robinson became Tony Romo's favorite red zone target and ended up with 11 touchdown catches, but that doesn't mean Romo would be crippled in the red zone without him. Witten used to be his favorite red zone target, and there's no reason to think he can't be again. If they can keep Austin healthy and if Bryant (just 23 years old) continues his development, they won't need a No. 3 wide receiver to produce the way Robinson did. Robinson's production was a pleasant surprise, but it's not as though Romo and the Cowboys would have been lost without him.
It's good to keep in mind that even without Robinson, the Cowboys are stacked with receiving options, a fact that Jerry Jones recently remarked on as well:
"We think receiver is a real strength position of ours and we've got a couple of younger guys that we're real proud of."
But the Cowboys may still be in the market for a veteran third receiver. We'll look at their options after the break.
For the last four years, the Cowboys have only kept five receivers on their 53-man roster. The Cowboys have already decided not to tender Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley. This decision does not preclude either receiver from returning to the Cowboys, but not at the cost a tender would have entailed. However, you can't help but like the Cowboys' array of receiving talent, especially regarding their size and age:
ESPNDallas reported earlier today that the Cowboys could be in the market for some veteran help at wide receiver, and have proposed the following names:
6'0 Early Doucet (26)
6'2 Devin Thomas (25)
6'3 Jerheme Urban (31)
None of these names have got me overly excited. But then again, neither did Laurent Robinson when the Cowboys initially signed him (then released him, then signed him again). Perhaps the Cowboys' Pro Scouting Department have identified another diamond in the rough with one of these guys, but chances are the Cowboys could once again wait until final roster cuts in September before they address their depth at wide receiver - or simply go with one of their young guys.
In the end, you can't fault Robinson for signing that type of contract. And Robinson stays classy to the end:
I wanna say thank you to the Cowboys Organization and especially FANS 4 all your support last year. But it's the beginning of a new chapter— Laurent Robinson (@LaurentRobinson) March 14, 2012
Good luck in Jacksonville, Mr. Robinson!