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With Jon Beason retired and Jasper Brinkley unsigned, the Giants needed to do something at middle linebacker where the only players under contract that could fill the position full time include Mark Herzlich and Uani 'Unga.
Their answer, at least for the time being, was to bring in Keenan Robinson, who had been a two-year starter for Washington when he was able to stay on the field.
Robinson, who took over one of the two inside starting linebacker positions in Washington’s 3-4 defense following the retirement of London Fletcher, seems to fit the Giants’ bandage approach to this position of late.
Robinson is a former Day 3 draft pick, chosen in the fourth round of the 2012 draft; he has the injury history that has thus far kept him from playing a full season (he missed the entire 2013 campaign after suffering a torn pectoral muscle).
Regardless, the 26-year-old Robinson signed to a modest one-year “prove it” contract that, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, includes active game day roster bonuses and does bring some intrigue to the table.
Per Pro Football Focus, he was second in the NFC East among inside linebackers with 25 percent or more of their team’s snaps against the run. Robinson logged a 9.0 run-stop percentage, and third among that same group with 18 stops for zero or negative yards.
While not really used much as a pass rusher—PFF has him down for just 27 pass-rushing snaps—Robinson topped both Brinkley and ‘Unga in this stat.
The most glaring negative? Again, using the same sample group, Robinson came up dead last (out of 12 eligible players) in tacking with a 4.7 overall tackling efficiency.
So why Robinson over former Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, now with the Bears?
Given the details of his contract that Wilson reported, specifically his per-game roster bonus that he’ll receive for each game he’s on the active 46-man game day roster, it sure looks as though New York is planning to perhaps draft a longer-term solution at that position next month.