Were the Pittsburgh Steelers simply trading a linebacker they didn't want to the Philadelphia for a healthy running back, or was it an attempt to allow Adrian Robinson to stay within his home state of Pennsylvania?
Robinson was a highly decorated prospect during his days at Harrisburg High School. Upon graduation, he received Division I offers from the University of Connecticut and Temple University. Robinson chose Temple, who happens to play their home games at Lincoln Financial Field - the home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.
Robinson earned several honors in his sophomore season (2009) with Temple, including MAC defensive player of the year. He went undrafted after graduating, but was able to remain within the confines of Pennsylvania by signing with the Steelers as a rookie free-agent.
After one relatively uneventful season in Pittsburgh, Robinson has been traded to Philadelphia. He was not viewed as a top contender for a linebacker spot, with other players ahead of him on the team's overall depth chart, such as Chris Carter and Stevenson Sylvester. While the team could have held onto Robinson until the end of camp, perhaps his Pennsylvania ties had something to do with the trade?
Had the Steelers simply cut Robinson, he would have become a free-agent and could possibly have gone unnoticed by the NFL with all other 31 teams having made similar decisions to get rosters below the 53-man mandate. By trading him to the Eagles, a team in the middle of a defensive transition to the 3-4 alignment, Robinson will have a chance to prove to his 'hometown' team he can outplay someone currently under contract.
Professional football players build their lives around their careers. A trade involves the player not only changing uniforms, but addresses as well. Even if the Steelers had lost their infatuation with Robinson, perhaps the move had more to do with what was best in the interest of the man and the player, than just what was best for the team.
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