Any slim hopes the New England Patriots had of signing Allen Robinson were dashed Thursday.
The free agent wide receiver reportedly is signing a three-year, $46.5 million contract with the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, his agents told NFL reporter Jordan Schultz. The deal includes $30.7 million in guaranteed money.
The Patriots had been linked last week to Robinson, who’s coming off a down season with the Chicago Bears but would have been the No. 1 outside receiver New England has lacked in recent years. The 28-year-old was viewed as arguably the best receiver available in free agency.
Robinson now joins a loaded Rams passing attack that featured Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Van Jefferson around quarterback Matthew Stafford. It’s unclear what impact his arrival will have on unrestricted free agent Odell Beckham Jr., who enjoyed a resurgent half-season with LA but tore his ACL in Super Bowl LVI and likely will miss at least part of the upcoming season.
Beckham said before the Super Bowl that he came “very, very, very” close to signing with the Patriots after his midseason release from the Cleveland Browns. Though currently sidelined, it’s possible New England could again pursue the former Pro Bowler if he does not re-sign with the Rams.
Wide receivers still available include Beckham, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jarvis Landry, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jamison Crowder, Will Fuller and Julio Jones, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday. New England has not shown “any interest” in Landry, per a report from the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels.
The Patriots thus far have signed just two external free agents (cornerback Terrance Mitchell and hybrid running back Ty Montgomery) and added another player via trade (linebacker Mack Wilson).