The Jaguars opted to ride with Blake Bortles due in large part to their desire to have cash and cap space available for other players who eventually will need to be paid. Most immediately, receiver Allen Robinson needs to be paid.
Robinson, who tore an ACL in Week One of the 2017 season, will become a free agent unless the Jaguars apply the franchise tag or the transition tag. The franchise tag could be well over $16 million for 2018, and a long-term deal with the franchise tag as the starting point would likely require $36 million fully guaranteed at signing, given the 20-percent increase in the franchise tender for 2019.
Robinson’s health surely will be a factor in the team’s willingness to pay him significant money. The relatively weak class of free agents at the position, however, could make other teams willing to roll the dice on the 24-year-old Robinson being ready to play like he did in 2015, when he generated 1,400 receiving yards.
How well would he do in an offense with a high-end quarterback? Plenty of teams with high-end quarterbacks will be asking that question when it comes to Robinson, especially since there simply aren’t many other veteran options at the position. Which could force the Jaguars to use the $9 million in 2018 cap savings from Bortles’ deal to either tag Robinson or sign him to a long-term contract.