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'Grateful' Allen Robinson says he has 'a couple more years' in him


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Allen Robinson was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 8, a transaction he calls, "a little surprising."

The veteran wide receiver started every one of Pittsburgh's games last season, including one in the playoffs. Though his numbers were below his career norms, Robinson was a reliable target on a team that cycled through three starting quarterbacks who threw a total of 13 touchdown passes, tied for the NFL's second-lowest total. And the Steelers never discussed with Robinson the possibility of releasing him before they did.

"I know for them, they were doing a lot of changes over there, schematic changes, and different things like that," Robinson said. "So, it was a little surprising. But at the end of the day, it's a part of the business. I've been in this thing now going on 11 years."

And he wasn't prepared to end it. After impressing the Giants in what coach Brian Daboll said was a "good workout," Robinson signed with the Giants, his fifth team, on May 9.

"(He) has been a productive player for a while," Daboll said. "We had good conversations. Ended up choosing to come here. Happy to have him."

"Whenever you can join a culture," Robinson said, "not to mention the Giants organization as far as being a successful place in general - whenever you can step into a culture like that as a football player, that's awesome."

View photos from the career of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson, who recently signed with the Giants.

Robinson has been one of the NFL's most productive receivers of the last decade (four seasons each with Jacksonville and Chicago and solo seasons with the L.A. Rams and Pittsburgh). Robinson's 562 receptions and 7,028 yards place him 20th in both categories among active players entering the 2024 season, and his 43 touchdown catches tie him with Seattle's DK Metcalf for 19th. He has three 1,000-yard seasons and 16 100-yard games (plus one in the postseason) and has caught a career-high 10 passes in a game six times (plus one in the playoffs). Robinson was a 2015 Pro Bowler and the Jaguars' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the year nominee.

"I have so much gratitude and respect and love for the game. I mean, this game has changed my life and changed my family's life," Robinson said. "Every time I step foot on that field, the amount of pride that I come onto the field with each and every day, practice and games, I take it seriously. Like I said before, man, I even think back 11 years ago, just wanting to be able to have a successful career and do some things. To still be in it 11 years later, man, I'm blessed, I'm grateful and I don't take anything for granted."

Many receivers would be happy to take those numbers into retirement, particularly one who turns 31 in August. But after receiving the news he was no longer wanted in western Pennsylvania, Robinson never considered it.

"I knew right away I was playing again," he said. "In my eyes, I know for sure I've got a couple more years in me. Last year, kind of stepping into the season, I wasn't quite 100 percent. I was coming off a foot injury. So, being able to have this offseason to really be healthy and train and do all those things, I knew for sure. There was no doubt for me as far as playing wise."

Robinson's career stat-line of 562 receptions-7,028 yards-43 touchdowns tops the combined total of the Giants' four holdover wideouts – Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Wan'Dale Robinson, and Jalin Hyatt – who together have posted numbers of 384 catches, 5,071 yards and 28 scores. Of course, the Giants added a premier wide receiver when they selected LSU's Malik Nabers with the sixth selection in the NFL Draft. And they added veteran free agent Isaiah McKenzie, who has 152 receptions for 1,427 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven seasons.

Robinson enjoys mentoring his younger and less experienced teammates.

"Being able to step into a room with some young guys, man, those guys have always, as I've gotten later in my career, kept me young," Robinson said. "So, I'm looking forward to it and I'm excited.

"I've gone through so many different things in my career from being drafted, traded, franchise tag, injuries, and everything like that. Being able to have the perspective of all those different things and then being able to get around young guys, and really spread my knowledge, spread my experience and really kind of help elevate the young guys each and every day - whenever you're checking those boxes off and helping young guys check those boxes off, you do the same thing for yourself as well."

Robinson has always derived happiness from football, and he exudes joy simply standing in the locker room or at practice. After twice being named Big Ten Receiver of the Year at Penn State, the Jaguars selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft. Robinson set career highs in his second season with 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns on 80 catches. He moved to Chicago as a free agent in 2018 and in his third year with the Bears caught a career-best 102 passes. Robinson played for the Rams in 2022 and last season caught 34 passes for 280 yards with the Steelers.

Now he is with team No. 5 in a new city and a new group of players.

"It's awesome, man," Robinson said. "It's awesome, because once you've played in the league for a little bit, you do know some guys. You've played with guys, you've played against guys. Coming in today talking to Jalin, he was telling me how he was playing with me on Madden and stuff. You're able to connect with guys quickly. Being able to have that perspective, it's been an easy transition for me stepping into different locker rooms.

"I'm blessed to be able to be around these guys. It's a very talented group. It's been cool. It's been fun."

Given Robinson's history, that's not even a little surprising.

To commemorate their 100th season, the New York Giants today unveiled a "Century Red" uniform, which the team will wear for up to two games in 2024.


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