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ESPN gives the Steelers trade for Allen Robinson a passing grade

Grading the Steelers and Rams trade which sends Allen Robinson to Pittsburgh.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not about to just sit back and wait for the 2023 NFL Draft to fill out their roster. Instead, they’ve continued to sign free agents, and now even make trades, leading up to the 3-day selection process.

Earlier this week it was announced the Steelers were trading for wide receiver Allen Robinson II. The trade was simple, the Steelers picked up $5 million of Robinson’s 2023 salary, and they swapped 7th round picks in this year’s draft.

Seems like a steal if Robinson is healthy, which is why the trade hinged on Robinson passing a physical.

Nonetheless, how should this trade be viewed, if you were grading it from both sides? Seth Walder of ESPN graded out all the offseason moves, and that recently included the Steelers and Rams trade.

Take a look at the grades, and why he graded the trade as such:

Pittsburgh Steelers get: WR Allen Robinson II, 2023 seventh-round pick (No. 251)

Los Angeles Rams get: 2023 seventh-round pick (No. 234)

Steelers’ grade: B-

Rams’ grade: B

Robinson will make $15 million this season, but this trade essentially tells us the open market valued him at just $5 million. The draft pick compensation is basically nothing, and the Rams have effectively decided they would rather pay $10 million for Robinson to not play for them than $15 million for him to play for them (which is fine on its own, treating sunk costs as sunk costs is rational).

We can see why by looking at his production numbers. Robinson averaged a mere 0.95 yards per route run last season — which ranked 91st out of 98 qualifying wide receivers and was worse than Shi Smith, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Parris Campbell. Robinson wasn’t great in 2021 with the Bears, either, at 1.3 yards per route run, meaning the soon-to-be 30-year-old is coming off back-to-back poor seasons.

I don’t totally mind this for the Steelers because it’s so low risk, Robinson’s Receiver Tracking Metrics weren’t as dour on his 2022 performance (he ranked 47th out of 82 WRs in Overall Score) and having more receivers is a good thing, even with a nice combination of Diontae Johnson and George Pickens in front of him. But if I was going to spend $5ish million on a receiver this offseason I’d have preferred someone like Darius Slayton or Deonte Harty — younger players who have shown potential that could turn into assets.

For the Rams, shedding veteran salary makes sense in a year when they seem unlikely to contend, particularly in the case of Robinson, who proved ineffective in Sean McVay’s offense. But it is another reminder — as was the Jalen Ramsey trade — that this is a team that could (or should, in my opinion) also trade away Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp (as I wrote in the Ramsey trade section), either this offseason or during the season. — Walder

Now that we, the fans, know the logistics behind the trade, what do you think of it? What grade would you give the deal? Let us know by voting in the poll below. And be sure to let us know the explanation for your grade in the comment section below!


What grade do you give the Allen Robinson II trade?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    (698 votes)
  • 50%
    (1122 votes)
  • 14%
    (324 votes)
  • 1%
    (43 votes)
  • 1%
    (27 votes)
2214 votes total Vote Now

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.