Reports began to heat up very quickly that it would just be a matter of time as Robinson flew into Atlanta to meet with Dimitroff, Coach Smith, Blank, and Company. It was thought to be a matter of time and how much the Falcons were willing to fork over for the best cornerback free agent on the market. The Falcons finally have their number one cornerback in Robinson, but the contract was pretty staggering, coming in at a whopping 6 years, $57 million dollars with $22.5 million of it being guaranteed. It seems to be a match made in heaven since Robinson is coming back home after growing up in Athens and playing at Clarke Central High School. A look at Dunta Robinson’s career:
Year Games Started Tackle PDF Int FF
2004 16 16 73 13 6 3
2005 16 16 69 9 1 1
2006 16 16 69 10 2 1
2007 9 9 29 7 2 0
2008 11 6 35 6 2 0
2009 16 16 54 9 0 1
The Atlanta Falcons finally got their number 1 cornerback in Dunta Robinson. The new Atlanta Falcon was a top 10 draft pick, was in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and the best free agent cornerback in the market. The Falcons have done their best in trying to make patchwork cornerback corps work, but were exposed in the playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals in 2009 (the Larry Fitzgerald TD highlight will live in infamy) and particularly this year against a very tough schedule and some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. Dimitroff drafted Chevis Jackson and Chris Owens, and the latter seems to have entrenched himself as a legit starter.
Dimitroff put the issue of a weak cornerback roster to rest in one swift move. Robinson immediately brings toughness, excellent cover skills, and above all, experience guarding some of the best number 1 wide receivers in the league. The size of the contract does stick out, but it almost matches exactly the contract Asante Samuel received from the Eagles over two years ago. Robinson is no Samuel, but Dimitroff did scout one certain Asante Samuel when he was in New England. After going several years hoping former picks would turn the corner and waiting on young draft picks to mature, the Atlanta Falcons finally have their number one cornerback.
Yes, Dunta Robinson immediately upgrades the secondary and is already firmly entrenched as the number one cornerback, but is he worth the enormous contract Dimitroff just inked? It’s hard to argue against any of Dimitroff’s moves since most of them have turned into gold, but the shear size of the deal surely invites questions. Robinson blossomed in his rookie year, but has slowed down each year since. Is Robinson truly worth the dough or did he benefit from the extremely bare cupboard of free agents with the failure of the collective bargaining agreement? Only time will tell, and Dimitroff deservedly gets the benefit of the doubt, but such a large contract is a bit out of line in the general managers normal dealings. Dunta Robinson’s got a big burden to bear as the new number 1 CB, although it won’t be hard to improve on the previous couple of years.
Although the contract is large and many in the media are quick to point out that Robinson is not on the level of Darrelle Revis (no one else is either) or Charles Woodson, he is only 27 years old and has been one of the better cover corners in the NFL, even if not a playmaking corner. A look at his numbers to Charles Woodson’s, for instance, reveals that Robinson is well ahead of where Woodson was in his career. Through his first 5 seasons in Oakland, Woodson only had 12 interceptions and 12 passes defensed compared to Robinson’s 13 ints and 45 passes defensed. Woodson obviously went to Green Bay and became one of the league’s best, and nothing says that Robinson can’t do the same.
Simply put, what’s your take on the Dunta Robinson signing: great move or potential reach for the price?