Don’t you go worrying about those supposed holes in the Cleveland Browns linebacking corps: The team has extended a contract tender to inside linebacker Craig Robertson as an exclusive-rights free agent.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal confirms, through a team spokesman, that Robertson has been tagged with the “exclusive rights” maneuver, one that provides a player who has fewer than three seasons of experience with absolutely nothing in the way of leverage. Robertson will return to the Browns for the 2014 season after serving as a full-time starter last year, playing alongside the recently departed D’Qwell Jackson. According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, the inside linebacker’s salary for the upcoming season will be $570,000. He will become a restricted free agent in 2015.
Heading into last season, Robertson was working extremely hard to make an impact, even being called then defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s “ace in the hole.” So, how did Robertson fare last season? Buckle up.
ProFootballFocus ranked Robertson, who was fourth on the team in tackles (89), 52nd out of 55 inside linebackers last season. The website’s ratings placed him 48th against the run and a league-worst 52nd in coverage. Robertson was targeted often on third-down situations (58 times in total), allowing an incredible 86.2 percent of all pass attempts in his direction to be caught; the 376 yards after catch allowed by Robertson was second-worst in the NFL. Needless to say, after a relatively productive 2012, there’s a little room for growth in 2014.