Trevor Robinson is not a starting NFL center. The fans know it, draft experts know it, and opposing defensive linemen know it. If we're being honest, Robinson probably knows it deep down. But are we sure Tom Telesco knows it? And, more importantly, if Telesco does know it; how is Trevor Robinson still employed?
Trevor was a decent story for the Chargers in 2015, when he emerged from anonymity to settle down the center position following a rash of injuries....relatively speaking. He showed toughness in playing through nagging injuries, grabbed hold of the position and played as well as you can expect someone with no experience to play. If nothing else he showed enough to be considered a decent depth option and the team responded by signing him to a two-year, $3.2M contract prior to the 2015 season.
As he so often does, Telesco hedged his bet with the Robinson contract. In addition to offering him little in the way of guaranteed money, the bulk of the financial commitment would be deferred to the second year of the contract, essentially forcing Robinson to earn his spot and his money. So here we are, with year two around the corner and the center about to earn $2.3M in base salary without having earned a penny of it - unless you consider getting thrown around like a rag doll "earning" his money.
I am by no means a "cap-ologist", but you don't need a degree in advanced economics to crunch the numbers on this one. Robinson is owed $75,000 in pro-rated bonus money while his base salary essentially quadruples from $800,000 to $2.3M. He was the worst-rated center in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, is a legitimate liability, and the team would save $2,225,000 against the cap but releasing him.
So, I ask again; how is Trevor Robinson still employed? If it makes sense to cut Kavell Conner, who was one of the best special teams players on the roster and was set to make a measly $950,000 in 2016, cutting Robinson should be a no-brainer. There is no way Tom Telesco can possibly think Trevor is worth that $2.25M, or worse yet, a roster spot; is there? It is unfathomable for him to still hold a roster spot at his price tag after the way he played in 2015. Unfathomable.
I would normally attempt to offer some sort of explanation here, try to make some sort of sense of this decision, but only one comes to mind and I'd rather not say it aloud because of what it says about a GM who still thinks this kid belongs on his roster. For crying out loud, Stephen Wisniewski, who is still looking for work, made $2,000,000 last year! How does it make sense to burn $2.3M on TRob? The answer is simple, he isn't.
Tom Telesco got it right when he decided to cut Donald Butler and Donald Brown, but he continues to get it wrong with he refusal to cut the fifth-year center from Notre Dame. I'm concerned Robinson's presence on the roster suggests the Chargers think Watt and Robinson can handle the center position, which is a whole other discussion entirely. For now I suppose we need to hold out hope the Chargers are convinced to cut tied with Trevor Robinson after finding a center in the early rounds of the draft, even if it should have happened two weeks ago.