For the second consecutive season, WR Demarcus Robinson has returned to the Kansas City Chiefs on a one-year deal. This time, he’s hoping that he can earn an expanded role to likes of which he hasn’t yet seen in his Chiefs career.
A former fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Florida in 2016, Robinson worked his way through the receiver ranks in Kansas City. As a rookie, he saw a special teams only role. He received limited action in 2017 but spent a good chunk of the year working on the scout team offense, building chemistry with soon-to-be starting QB Patrick Mahomes.
When Robinson first became a free agent in 2020, many thought he wouldn’t re-sign with Kansas City, but he did. The result was a career year for Robinson with 45 catches for 466 yards and three scores. This time around, there’s one key difference in his return that has him hoping he’ll be able to secure an expanded role. That difference is that the team’s clear No. 3 receiver, Sammy Watkins, left the team as a free agent.
“Every other season, it’s (been) four, five touchdowns, 500 yards,” Robinson said on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, via NFL.com. “I just think it picks up a little bit more right now. I’m looking for the opportunity — not for them to give me the opportunity — but go in there and take the opportunity. Go in there and show that I am a guy who can put up 1,000 yards a year and 10 touchdowns. I’m ready to make that happen. They said they’ve got something in store for me. I’m ready to show them.”
Like last season, Robinson didn’t just have the Chiefs as his one and only option in free agency this year. He revealed that the Detroit Lions were also in contention for his services.
“He’d be WR1 with a bullet in Detroit,” Lions Wire editor Jeff Risdon said.
If Robinson has a goal of becoming a 1,000-yard and 10 touchdown receiver, why did he choose the team where it might be a bit more difficult to achieve that goal?
“I chose the Chiefs, it was my family, the coaches, just talking with everybody, seeing what would best fit me,” Robinson said. “I had another team, Detroit, that was also looking at me. And the Chiefs just wanted me more at the time. Yeah, we are looking to run it back. Everybody helped me make the best decision for my situation and it was the Chiefs.”
The Chiefs signed Robinson to a one-year deal, which amounted to a veteran minimum signing. It sounds like his comfort level with his teammates, the coaching staff and where his family is at helped him make this decision.
The level of trust that he has in the front office and coaching staff also seems to have played a role in his decision. They caught some criticism for the offseason the team has seen so far, but Robinson remains confident in the job they’ve done.
“I’ve been very blessed to be a part of this team,” Robinson said. “(Brett) Veach and Andy (Reid) they know what they’re doing. They’re looking at great guys, (Joe) Thuney is a great guy. They brought in some other guys to help the team and I think we’re getting pretty stacked on that line, I don’t think (Patrick Mahomes) is going to have to be scrambling for his life no more.”
At the end of the day, Robinson’s decision was steeped in the potential for an increased role in 2021. It’s something that he strives for and something that he knows won’t be handed to him. He’ll have to earn it and he’s fully prepared for that challenge next year.
“Just talking to everybody, talking to my agent, talking to my wife and my kid and my coaches,” Robinson said of his decision to return to Kansas City. “Pat (Mahomes) was a big decision on it. Just seeing what I could do, seeing what they saw in me for my role next year, and without Sammy (Watkins) being there, they said it’ll pick up a lot more. And they got a lot of things in store for me. I’m ready to go back to work and see what they got going for me.”
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