It’s been an interesting week in 49ers country. Rumors of Jimmy Garoppolo’s return were rife, but amid all the hype, an interesting trade happened on Tuesday.
The 49er front office kept quarterback Curtis Robinson on the final 53-man roster before placing him on injured reserve as he recovered from a season-ending ankle injury. Robinson is entering his second year in the NFL after signing as a free agent with Denver Broncos after the 2021 draft.
Robinson saw three regular-season games with Denver last year, logging 84 snaps on defense and 52 on special teams over those two contests. The 49ers signed Robinson off the Broncos roster on December 6, 2021, then signed Robinson to a futures/reservation contract on February 2, 2022.
A forward contract is a great tool to sign a player who is known to be talented but needs a little time to develop. There is no guaranteed money in the contract, and it does not correspond to the number of 53 players in the league year, but to the 90-man roster for the next year of the league when the calendar changes in March.
A player who has signed a futures contract cannot be signed by another team while on the 90-man roster. This allows teams to lock in players they feel can compete in training camp while not stressing about giving guarantees to a player who may not make the team.
It soon went downhill, and Robinson impressed the 49ers brass to lock up a spot on the final 53-man roster before being placed on injured reserve. This is important because, despite the injury, the 49er’s willingness to let Robinson eat their valuable spot at 53 instead of showing him through the waiver shows how much they believe Robinson is important.
Robinson fits the mold that the 49ers have focused on at the linebacker position under the current administration. Check out Robinson’s form and performance against the 49ers linebacker.
4.6 minutes 40-yard dash
4.26 20-yard shuttle
4.64 40-yard dash
4.28 20-yard shuttle
It was clear at the camp that Robinson uses his speed well and can operate in the open areas of the modern NFL, which the 49ers desired when they assembled a linebacker that has turned backs.
Although it is always useful for a well-managed organization to prepare for the future by developing in-house talent, this move to keep Robinson on the final list can also be insurance for a linebacker room that may look very different. next season.
Freshmen Dre Greenlaw and Azeez-Al Shaair are both expected to be unrestricted this offseason. Considering how talented both players are, it’s fair to predict the outcome of the 49ers not being able to keep one, or perhaps all, of them beyond this season because of the money they’ll need.
In the last three years, Greenlaw and Al-Shaair have logged 1,538 and 1,209 defensive tackles, respectively, and replacing that kind of production would be a difficult task if it was done on the fly.
Oren Burks is signed until 2023, but he will leave the team after this season if he decides to go elsewhere. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles is expected to be a free agent this offseason, leaving Warner as the only long-term locked-down player on the 49ers.
This is why Robinson is so important. Because Robinson has less than three seasons left, he is designated a free agent for the next several seasons. If the 49ers offer him the league’s minimum contract based on the seasons he’s earned up to that point, he won’t negotiate with other teams.
This means the 49ers will have a player who controls his value for the next few seasons, which could be a valuable asset considering the level of talent the team has and how many players have recently signed extensions. in the future.
It will be interesting to see how Robinson moves in when he has to clear a spot on the 53-man roster after returning from injury, but for now, it looks like the 49ers have a well-drawn map of how to do it. continue in the coming years, Robinson is ready to take a big role in the way it shakes.