The NFL free agency period is now more than six weeks old, and only two of Seattle’s unrestricted free agents remain unsigned — linebacker O’Brien Schofield and fullback Michael Robinson.
Schofield remains available due to concerns about his health — he had an agreement with the Giants that was voided when the team became concerned about his knee.
Robinson, meanwhile, may simply be at the end of the line, having turned 31 years old a few days after the Super Bowl.
Robinson (above against San Francisco last year in a John Lok photo) said as much in this story published over the weekend by StateCollege.com (Robinson played at Penn State).
Asked about his future, Robinson said: “There really isn’t a market for 31-year fullbacks headed into their ninth year in the league. Economically speaking, I understand that. I’m going to give myself a little time after the draft to let teams see how their rosters shake out. After seeing what happens, I’m probably going to call it a career.”
There’s no indication the Seahawks have made a contract offer to Robinson, with Seattle apparently content to go at fullback in 2014 with Derrick Coleman and Spencer Ware.
As the story notes, Robinson has already begun preparing for his post-football life with a variety of media-related roles, including some work for the NFL Network that included analysis during the schedule release announcement last week.
“I’m treating my broadcast career as if I am not going to play any more,” Robinson says in the story. “And if I do get a call from a team, then I’m counting that as a bonus.”
The story also notes that Robinson recently moved back to Richmond, Va. as part of his preparation for his post-football life.
If Robinson is done, he leaves as a player whose Seahawk career can’t really be captured in the numbers.
He had just 29 carries in his four years with Seattle for 133 yards and 32 receptions for another 260 yards and three touchdowns, with his greatest value being the lead blocking he provided to Marshawn Lynch. Robinson made the Pro Bowl in 2011 largely due to his blocking prowess.
Robinson, though, was not only a valued lead blocker for Lynch, but also one of his best friends (remember the way he supported Lynch during the Super Bowl media sessions) and one of the team’s biggest emotional leaders. (And I’d be remiss not to note that for some fans, Robinson’s biggest legacy may have been his entertaining RealRobReport videos).
And recall that the 2013 season was something of a gift for Robinson, who was cut in August after a medical condition caused him to lose a lot of weight, only to be re-signed when both Coleman and Ware each went down with injuries. That allowed Robinson to be part of the team’s Super Bowl run. If this is it for Robinson — and it certainly looks like it is from a Seattle standpoint — then he can hardly have asked for a better way to go out.
Going with younger, cheaper players is simply part of the deal in the NFL, and something the Seahawks have done throughout this off-season, having earlier also released the likes of Chris Clemons and Red Bryant.
Like Robinson, Bryant was an undisputed team leader, a two-time defensive team captain. The value of leadership in the locker room come gameday is much debated. What can’t be is that the locker room simply won’t be the same in 2014.