Texans Let Dunta Robinson Leave ... With Good Reason
According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Texans will not have any further negotiations with Robinson prior to the March 5 start of free agency.
Houston franchised Robinson last year, and he was the only franchised player in the NFL who chose to sit out the entire offseason. Robinson apologized for his behavior after the contract negotiations, and said that he wouldn't mind being franchised again. Most Texans fans would say he wasn't worth franchising the first time, but the team didn't have great options last year, and probably still doesn't.
In a quarterback-oriented league, quality cornerbacks are at a premium, but Robinson's play last season wasn't worth his nearly $10 million dollar salary. Robinson had the same number of interceptions I had last year -- zero. He does outpace me in career interceptions with 13 over a six-year career, with nearly half of them coming from his rookie season. Some statistical measures suggest that Robinson was not just one of the worst cornerbacks for the Texans, but one of the worst-rated cornerbacks in the league.
So where is the likely destination for one of the few cornerbacks in the league that will be available in free agency? Given his likely silly contract demands relative to performance, some think the best fit would be with the Redskins. A number of the ex-Texans staff members who are now with the Redskins know his work habits and may target him.
In losing Robinson, the Texans are getting rid of their security blanket. The number one thing Texan players said in praise of Robinson is that he was a leader in the locker room. They've acquired additional leaders on that defense, but with a secondary group that includes Jacques Reeves and a bunch of inexperienced players, it looks like Houston will be putting a priority on getting a cornerback in the draft.
Among the problems the Texans have had on defense are a lack of continuity and too many inexperienced players making mistakes. Whether or not Robinson stayed or went, the Texans secondary was likely going to be a concern. Unless the Texans improve at corner, they won't be able to improve as a team. The Texans would have liked Robinson to return, but not at franchise-tag money or at the contract he will likely want.