Steelers fans should temper expectations for Allen Robinson following the trade

Steelers, Allen Robinson
Steelers, Allen Robinson / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On April 18th, Omar Khan made a move that nobody saw coming: the Pittsburgh Steelers traded for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver, Allen Robinson. A wide receiver corps that consisted of George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, Calvin Austin III, Anthony Miller, and Gunner Olszewski now adds an experienced veteran presence.

Just last offseason, Robinson signed a lofty three-year, $46.5 million deal with the Rams. However, things clearly didn't work out. When ESPN's Adam Schefter announced that Pittsburgh was making the trade for the former Pro Bowl receiver, I knew that LA was going to eat a significant portion of the money he was set to make.

This proved to be the case. At the price of a $5 million salary and a seventh-round pick-swap with the Rams, the Steelers were able to acquire the shore-handed receiver. Admittedly, there was very little risk involved here, and swapping seventh-round capital essentially amounts to nothing.

The Rams were simply looking to get out of his awful contract as they prepared for a fresh start. This wasn't a risky trade for the Steelers, and it's one that gives them a veteran presence at the wide receiver position. However, we need to be careful not to overrate his potential impact on the team in 2023.

Steelers fans can't overreact to this trade

As soon as the trade was made official, Steelers fans and media members were quick to share their praise for Khan and the front office -- many of them calling this an outstanding move for a Pro Bowl receiver. However, don't be deceived into believing that this acquisition is more valuable to the team than it actually will be.

You may not have caught a bunch of Rams games in 2022, considering how bad they were, but take it from someone who watched a lot of Allen Robinson last year: he wasn't very good. Yes, he was forced to catch passes from a number of quarterbacks after Matthew Stafford went down with an injury, but he was also incredibly inefficient in the process.

Last year, Robinson looked washed up. He caught just 33 of 52 passes for 339 yards, via ESPN stats. His 6.5 yards per target were less than respectable and nowhere near the top half of starting NFL receivers. While it's worth noting that he did reel in 3 touchdown receptions, Allen was a non-factor in most games he appeared in during the 2022 season.

In addition to not making a big impact, Allen also can't seem to stay healthy. The veteran receiver suited up for just 10 games last season (22 over the past two years combined). This is now two straight years (dating back to 2021 on the Bears) in which Robinson has been completely underwhelming.

Though Robinson has had some excellent seasons in the past, he is going on three years removed from being a significant threat as a receiver. The 10-year pro turns 30 years old this summer, and it's hard to believe that he will make much of an impact at this stage of his career with the way he has been trending.

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Perhaps transitioning to a bigger role in the slot could help him have a boost of efficiency late in his NFL career. Obviously, this will require him to stay healthy. I'm certainly not opposed to the Pittsburgh Steelers trading for Allen Robinson, considering the very low cost, but I think it's important to have realistic expectations of the player he will likely be in 2023.