IRVING, Texas -- A lot of times when players are about to hit free agency, all they see is dollar signs.
After playing for four or more years with one team, they look forward to the open market, dreaming of the biggest payday.
That sure didn’t sound like Laurent Robinson last week when he appeared on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Ben and Skin Show.
“This is where I want to be,” Robinson said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m the No. 1, 2 or 3. I feel like I have a good fit here.”
Maybe Robinson has a different view on his impending free agency because he did not make his mark with three organizations before joining the Cowboys, but if he is talking about “fit” and not about the “money” then the Cowboys have a good shot at re-signing Robinson, who caught 11 touchdown passes as part of his 54-catch, 858-yard season.
Robinson and Tony Romo meshed right away, which flew in the face of the excuses we heard during Roy Williams’ run with the Cowboys.
Back in 1995, Alvin Harper was in a great position as the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver opposite Michael Irvin but left to become the No. 1 receiver in Tampa Bay with a four-year, $10.6 million contract, which at the time was a large deal, and it never panned out.
It never panned out for Peerless Price in Atlanta (seven years, $37.5 million) after he caught 94 passes for 1,252 yards from Drew Bledsoe. It didn’t work out for David Givens in Tennessee (five years, $24 million) in part because of injury. It didn’t work out for T.J. Houshmandzadeh in Seattle (five years, $40 million). A pair of trades didn’t work for Javon Walker (from Green Bay to Denver and a five-year, $40 million contract) or Deion Branch (from New England to Seattle and a six-year, $39 million deal).
Branch was traded back to New England and it’s working out just fine once again because he fits with Tom Brady.
Funny how that worked.
It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and say, ‘Don’t think about the money.’ What would most of us do if you could do the same job somewhere else for a large check?
The Cowboys need Robinson in a lot of ways because there always seems to be something with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin was hurt most of 2011. He is not a No. 1 receiver, but he showed he could fill in for Bryant and Austin when they were hurt and excel.
If fit matters, as the wide out said, then the Cowboys have a chance to keep him.