Norwell in, Robinson out: Jaguars look to make big move in free agency

With Allen Robinson reportedly leaving the Jaguars to join the Bears, Marqise Lee immediately became a top priority for Jacksonville. And the franchise acted like it.

The Jaguars and Lee reportedly agreed to terms on Tuesday to a four-year contract worth up to $38 million and with $18 million guaranteed, per ESPNs Adam Schefter. Lee will be a familiar face for quarterback Blake Bortles, who wont have Robinson to throw to anymore.

Norwell’s average salary of $13.3 million will rank him first among guards and second among all offensive linemen (Washington left tackle Trent Williams is listed at $13.6 million, per Spotrac). The pursuit of Norwell can be viewed as an admission by the Jaguars that they should have been more serious in last year’s pursuit of Kevin Zeitler, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal with Cleveland. The Jaguars bowed out early in the process.

Although Robinson was clearly the No. 1 target in Jacksonville during his tenure, Lee got his share of touches. Over the course of four seasons, Lee caught 171 passes for for 2,166 yards. Robinson, meanwhile, in effect played only three years in Jacksonville, tearing his ACL in Week 1 last season. Robinsons price was steep — three years for $42 million — but if the Bears get the 2015 edition of Robinson that led the league in touchdowns with 14, it will be worth it.

“The run game, there were points we felt very good about it, but there were some points that we weren’t able to [establish the run],” coach Doug Marrone said last month. “We still want to progress. We still want to get better. It can be said best — ‘Hey, you guys were No. 1 in the league, but at times …’ That’s what we saw and that’s what we’ve looked at.”

Keelan Cole had a breakout season for the Jaguars in 2017 after going undrafted, catching 42 passes for 748 yards. With Robinson gone for good, the Jaguars will need to find someone that can pick up the slack more consistently — and theyre apparently hoping Lee can at least make a dent in that production. 

The team is coming off an AFC Championship berth, falling to the Patriots, but it has Super Bowl aspirations behind a tough defense and a bruising running game. Leonard Fournette was responsible for a lot of the Jaguars offensive production last year, and the team has already committed to Bortles for the next three years. Jacksonville clearly has faith in Bortles, but it will likely expect more out of him in the coming seasons. That onus also falls on Lee by extension.

Twitter LogoCopy Link IconJacksonville JaguarsReport: Marqise Lee, Jaguars Agree to Contract After Allen Robinson Joins BearsKyle Newport@@KyleNewportTwitter LogoFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2018 CommentsComment Bubble Icon

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost Allen Robinson but are keeping receiver Marqise Lee around.

Lee joined Robinson as a second-round pick in 2014 and got off to a slower start than his teammate while missing nine games over his first two seasons. Lee’s productivity has picked up over the last two years, however, and he led the team with 56 catches during the 2017 season. He added seven catches for 69 yards in the postseason.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Networks Mike Garafolo report Lee will re-sign with the Jags.

According to multiple reports, Marqise Lee will sign a new deal with the Jaguars ahead of the official start of free agency on Wednesday.

Jaguars should focus on replacing Allen Robinson after agreeing with Andrew Norwell

Its a four-year deal worth up to $38 million including $18 million guaranteed, a source told Rapoport.

The man known as the Albino Tiger early in his career for an inability to stay healthy put up solid numbers the past two seasons, compiling 1,553 yards on 119 receptions with six touchdowns. The 2014 second-round pick played a central role during the Jags midseason surge before an ankle injury held him out the final two games of the 2017 regular season. Lee earned seven receptions for 69 yards in three playoff games.

With Robinson headed to Chicago, the Jags are currently set to roll with Lee, Dede Westbrook, Allen Hurns and Keelan Cole atop their receiver corps in what should remain a run-first offense.

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