The New England Patriots have all 90 players on the roster after signing former Michigan State nose tackle Rashad Anthony White yesterday, but that isn’t stopping them from working out more players. ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini originally reported that the Patriots would work out Robinson, and the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported that the workout will take place today (confirmed by ESPN Boston).
New England Patriots outside linebacker Gary Guyton (59) forces Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Laurent Robinson (81) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Cowboys 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Robinson is also scheduled to visit the Detroit Lions, and he took a trip to the New York Jets yesterday, along with fellow injury-prone wide receiver Austin Collie, who also visited with the Patriots back in minicamp. The Patriots, Jets, and Lions are three teams that still seem to be looking for a veteran wide receiver to add to the mix, and both the Lions and Jets have been aggressively working out vets (Chaz Schilens, who was also a Patriots minicamp tryout, and Steve Breaston will also work out for the Lions). The Jets in particular could use another wideout with Santonio Holmes still injured and Stephen Hill showing very little signs of progress.
The Patriots are likely just doing due diligence on Robinson, and it isn’t uncommon to see the Patriots work out a variety of veteran wide receivers around this time of year. But Adam Caplan did tweet that the Pats are among the teams (the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, and Lions are three others) looking for WR depth, so it is entirely possible that a player like Robinson ends up with a contract with the Pats (the Jets did not offer him a contract after yesterday’s workout, per Caplan).
I like the decision made by the Patriots to work out Robinson, because he would be a productive receiver with upside if healthy. He averaged 16 yards per reception and had 11 touchdown catches in an excellent year with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, but he suffered four concussions last season. Robinson is a big target who fits as an “X” receiver, and that’s something the Patriots need. Health is a serious question for Robinson, but he has plenty of upside if healthy and is a worthy “resurrection” project for the Pats to take on if they feel it is worth it following the workout.