The Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles both felt they needed productive starting wide receivers added to their offense in 2022 and each team made their moves. We didn’t know until Thursday just how closely those two moves, one for Allen Robinson and the other for A.J. Brown, were actually aligned.
If only the Rams didn’t expect so much about of Robinson, the NFL season could have played out a lot differently.
According to a report by The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, Robinson was on the verge of signing with the Eagles last offseason when Sean McVay called him to make a last second pitch to come to L.A. instead. With the efforts of McVay, Cooper Kupp, and Matthew Stafford, Robinson changed course and signed with the Rams over Philadelphia.
The domino effect of Allen Robinson choosing the Rams at the 11th hour despite being "on the verge of signing" with the Eagles... which led Philadelphia to trade for AJ Brown— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 23, 2023
that one move changed the entire 2022 NFL seasonhttps://t.co/S1VzMjwPSK pic.twitter.com/lnLnJDHhJW
The team pitched Robinson on being the number two receiver in a high-volume passing offense, which at the time surely sounded a lot more appealing than joining the unknown with Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts. The Rams had just won the Super Bowl. Stafford had just thrown 41 touchdowns. And L.A. needed a receiver to replace Odell Beckham, Jr and Robert Woods.
The Rams signed Robinson to a three-year contract that will pay him an $18 million cap hit in 2023. Not good for a player who had 33 catches for 339 yards and three touchdowns over 10 games last season.
The Eagles were left wanting after losing out on Robinson and that may be one of the big reasons that Philly went to the Super Bowl this past season. The Eagles traded one of their three first round picks to the Titans for A.J. Brown and then signed him to a $100 million contract over four years; Brown had 88 catches for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is now the number one receiver on the reigning NFC winners and still only 25-years-old.
There’s probably no universe in which the Rams trade for Brown instead of signing Robinson, one of the reasons that L.A. had to make a push for a free agent. They didn’t have a first round pick in 2022 or 2023. But their loss turned into Philadelphia’s gain.