If the Jacksonville Jaguars move on from Allen Robinson, will they reach out to Sammy Watkins as his replacement?
Mike Kaye of First Coast News here in Jacksonville is reporting the team is interested in the former Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills wide receiver.
“Watkins, like Robinson, is an unrestricted free agent who was not tagged,” writes Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com. “Unlike Robinson, Watkins was a top-four draft pick, acquired by the Bills after they gave up two first-round picks and a fourth-round selection to get him.”
Watkins would be expected to come in and produce like a No. 1 wideout, something he has not been able to do since being drafted fourth overall in 2014. Coincidentally, if Watkins signs with The Jacksonville Jaguars, he will catch passes from Blake Bortles, who was taken third overall in the same draft class.
The Jacksonville Jaguars decided to not give Robinson the franchise tag, which would have paid him $16 million per season. The team is said to still be negotiating with Robinson, the team’s best wide receiver regardless of whether he suffered an ACL injury in the opening moments of the 2017 season.
Bortles signed a three-year contract extension that will give the Jacksonville Jaguars some flexibility in free agency. The new contract the signal caller signed only counts $10 million towards the salary cap. The thought was the team would re-sign Robinson to a long-term deal and try to re-sign cornerback Aaron Colvin.
The Jaguars will need to fill the void of Robinson, but will also have to consider what to do with Marqise Lee, who is scheduled to become a free agent on Wednesday. The team may also have to make a decision on Allen Hurns and a contract that is supposed to pay him $7 million.
In other team news, per Jaguars.com, the team has placed an exclusive rights tender on second-year tight end Ben Koyack, the club announced today.
Koyack, 6-5, 258, was originally drafted by the Jaguars in the seventh round (229th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft and spent his rookie season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster at the start of the 2016 season. Koyack has appeared in 30 games with 10 starts, and in 2017 he made seven receptions for 60 yards, including the game-winning TD reception in the third quarter of the Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills.
Koyack, 24, attended Notre Dame (2011-14) and was the starting TE during his senior year, totaling 30 receptions for 317 yards and two TDs. An Oil City, Pa. native, Koyack attended Oil City High School where he received first-team Pennsylvania all-state honors from Pennsylvania Sportswriters and Associated Press.
Also, the team has placed a second-round tender on third-year running back Corey Grant, the club announced today. Grant is set to become a restricted free agent on March 14 at 4 p.m. ET.
Grant, 5-11, 203, has developed into a reliable utility back and special teams ace during his three seasons in Jacksonville. The former undrafted rookie, who joined the team in 2015, has totaled 68 rushes for 414 yards (6.1 rush avg.) and three TDs. He also has nine receptions for 89 yards and one TD. Grant’s two longest rushes of his career came on fake punts during the 2017 season, when he scampered for 58 yards against Baltimore Sept. 24 and scored on a 56-yard trick play against the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 11. The Opelika, Ala. native has also tallied 40 kick returns for 961 yards (24.0 return avg.).
Grant, 25, attended Opelika High School and also starred on the school’s track team and was a two-time Alabama 6A State 100-meter champion and winner of the 2009 200-meter championship.