Around the Hill: Which Signed NFL Free Agent Will Have the Biggest Impact?

Question of the Week: Answered by Sports Staff

By Jake Rosenstein, Maroon-News Staff

While some teams emphasize building through the NFL draft, many create optimistic salary cap situations in order to land the biggest and best free agents money can buy. Teams like the Browns, Jets, Colts and Buccaneers have been accumulating cap space, cutting high money veterans in favor of rookie contracts resulting in highly disappointing seasons.

The Vikings, a playoff team last year and a contender next year, made the biggest free agency splash this off-season when they acquired high profile quarterback and man of God Kirk Cousins. While this was the most talent in one single acquisition, the Vikings made a deep playoff run last year with veteran journeyman Case Keenum, proving that the scary Vikings defense and offensive weapons can flourish with anyone under the helm.

This is why the most impactful free agency signing this off-season belongs to the Chicago Bears, whose new wide receiver Allen Robinson will surely bolster their offense guided by sophomore quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. 

Robinson, former pro bowl receiver with the Jaguars, had an injury-plagued season in 2017, but that should not discourage Bears fans from being happy about this signing. Robinson has a chance to prove that he is not injury prone or over the hill as he joins Matt Nagy’s offense for this coming season. Nagy, architect of the Kansas City Chiefs high-flying offense, brings a fresh offensive mind to Chicago where the main concern going back to last season was their injury prone and under talented receiving core. 

It seems as though the March For Our Lives movement has succeeded in banning one AR-15; Allen Robinson has changed his number and nickname, becoming a new type of weapon in Chicago: the AR-12.

 By David Minster, Senior Sports Manager

Although the most hyped signing of NFL free agency was undoubtedly Kirk Cousins, the most impactful signing this offseason was Allen Robinson of the Chicago Bears. 

Robinson got a whopping three-year, $42 million contract to take his talents to the Windy City, picking Chicago over Green Bay. Robinson was a standout wide receiver at Penn State before getting drafted in the second round of the 2014 Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars; his impact was felt immediately. 

With 48 catches in his rookie season, he established chemistry with fellow-rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, which set Robinson up for a phenomenal sophomore season. He put up 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, earning him a spot in 2016 Pro Bowl. Although Robinson tore his ACL last season, he’ll surely bounce back in an explosive Chicago offense. 

The Bears have not had a reliable wide receiver since Alshon Jeffery left for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, Mitch Trubisky has a new weapon to go to in the red zone. 

Robinson has proven himself time and time again as a dependable receiver given his good hands and route-running ability. Once he settles in during training camp and the preseason, Robinson will be the Chicago Bears’ number one wide receiver going into Week 1, and he will not disappoint. 

In a dynamic offense that features Trubisky and talented running back Jordan Howard, Robinson will thrive in this young offense. 

Look for Allen Robinson to put up similar numbers to his 2015 campaign, just with a different jersey on his back. 

By Eric Fishbin, Sports Editor

The Oakland Raiders have done well in their first offseason under the leadership of Coach Jon Gruden. They brought in Jordy Nelson playing on a relatively cheap two-year contract, to serve as a replacement for recently released veteran Michael Crabtree. While Nelson struggled for most of last season, he was playing without his quarterback Aaron Rodgers and simply could not find the same kind of chemistry with Brett Hundley. 

If Nelson could find his true form and develop a connection with Derek Carr, secondaries in the AFC West will have trouble two times a year when they face Oakland. 

Another intriguing signing was Ndamukong Suh, who inked a one-year, $14 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams. Suh bet on himself with a short-term contract, and I think it will pay off for the 6’ 4” defensive tackle.