A'Shawn Robinson will be a tough veteran to replace for LA Rams
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams may not have truly appreciated the role of defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson. After all, he was one of the blocker gobblers on the front line of defense for the Rams 3-4 defense. In three seasons with the LA Rams, he recorded just two quarterback sacks during the regular season, and just one quarterback sack during the post season. If you were one of the growing army of Fantasy Football team owners, a player like A'Shawn Robinson was someone who never stood out, who never filled a highlight reel. And for that, he was nobody special.
But for me, that is precisely what made him so very special. And that selfless and surrendering style of play will be so truly missed this year on the LA Rams' defense. He is a free agent no longer, holding out for the last possible moment for the Rams front office to make a competitive counter-offer, to keep him in Los Angeles, to remain a player on the Rams roster. But no such offer arrived. And now, Robinson will take his trade to the NFC East Division, where stuffing the run can still be as applauded as a quarterback sack. He is a New York Giant now.
From the moment I witnessed the sideline speech of Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, and the smoldering intensity that it triggered in his teammate A'Shawn Robinson, I was sold. Robinson was not on the Rams roster to collect a paycheck. This was his pilgrimage, his journey to a football team where defensive linemen truly cooperated as one unit. He loved belonging to the LA Rams. He loved his defensive line coach Eric Henderson. And he believed that his role on the team was every bit as necessary for the Rams to succeed as that of Aaron Donald or Jalen Ramsey.
Because it was.
The guy was too good not to notice
A'Shawn Robinson is the type of football player who gets tougher when the lights get brighter. It's not because he craves the spotlight. Not at all. It's because he does not want to let his team nor his teammates down. He may not have recorded nearly as many quarterback sacks as his teammates, but he certainly knew how to stuff the run. Once he got his hands on the ball carrier, that runner was going down.
A'Shawn Robinson is not returning to the LA Rams through no fault of his own. The Rams cannot afford to pay the man what he is worth earning in an NFL uniform. And even if the team could, they wouldn't. This is a team that has flipped winning to the back seat, and building a sustainable roster is the destination now. Robinson, in the prime of his NFL career, deserves a chance to compete now, not someday.
A'Shawn Robinson will no longer wear the horns. But he will be missed. He never sought the spotlight, never reached for the microphone, never asked for much. That is why it's so easy to give him the respect that he has earned.
I hope he does well for the New York Giants. But he will always have that Super Bowl LVI ring that will tie him to the LA Rams for the rest of his life. He wanted to find a team where teammates took care of one another, and I think he found that in the LA Rams organization. Now, he is a Super Bowl winning veteran, and he has the opportunity to start that type of locker room chemistry for the new group of youngsters arriving in the NFL looking for that same type of mythical Camelot.