The Buffalo Bills have overhauled their defense since general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott arrived in 2017. Phase one of the changes focused on the secondary, and throughout the 2018 NFL offseason, Buffalo has shifted gears, focusing on the front-seven.
In our latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we look at a versatile veteran linebacker added to provide insurance for Buffalo’s prized rookie.
Name: Keenan Robinson
Height/Weight: 6’3” 245 lbs.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Robinson signed a one-year pact with the Bills on July 24, just two days before training camp opened. The contract calls for him to make $835,000, including a $45,000 roster bonus. Thanks to the veteran’s minimum exception, he will only count $675,000 against the 2018 salary cap.
2017 Recap: Robinson dealt with a slew of injuries while with the New York Giants in 2017, but he was a solid player when he was on the field. He missed the first two games of the season due to a concussion, and was placed on injured reserve after suffering a quad injury in the team’s Week nine game. He had 32 tackles and 2 pass breakups in 6 games, 3 starts, in 2017. Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but much of his responsibilities were in coverage, where has was able to utilize his speed and natural athleticism.
Positional outlook: Robinson has the size to play all three linebacker spots, and he has served as both a middle linebacker and a weakside linebacker in his time in the NFL. He profiles as a good backup for rookie Tremaine Edmunds in the middle, but he could also provide a bit more size and strength on the weakside when Matt Milano needs a breather. He also profiles well as a backup to Lorenzo Alexander, especially on passing downs. Really, Buffalo can use his experience and athletic versatility in whatever way they see fit. Ramon Humber, Julian Stanford, Tanner Vallejo, Deon Lacey, Corey Thompson, and Xavier Woodson-Luster are the other linebackers on the roster.
2018 Offseason: Robinson was a free agent until he signed with Buffalo two days before camp began. Joe Buscaglia listed Robinson as a third-team weakside linebacker in his depth chart from Day 6 of training camp.
2018 season outlook: If Robinson makes the roster, he will be a useful backup and special teams player for the Bills. His injury history is not great, but as a veteran backup, he could be a valuable piece to a diverse linebacker group. His versatility and athleticism are intriguing, and he has more in-game experience on defense than Stanford and Vallejo. While he is by no means a lock, he is definitely someone who should make the 53-man roster come September.