Buffalo Bills sign Keenan Robinson, bolster thin LB corps


The Buffalo Bills had one vacant spot remaining on their 90-man roster to fill before training camp begins July 26. On Tuesday, the team signed former New York Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson, who will provide depth at a thin position group. Robinson has experience, starting 30 career games, appearing in 58. Robinson was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft out of Texas. After dealing with pectoral injuries during his first two seasons, the 6-foot-3, 238-pound linebacker took over the starting job in 2014 following London Fletcher’s retirement.

He notched 108 tackles, six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, one interception and three pass breakups in 13 games that season. He was unable to replicate that success in 2015 and Washington let him become a free agent. Robinson ultimately signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants. In 2016 he notched 79 tackles, two tackles for loss, seven pass breakups. He re-signed with the Giants in 2017 but was placed on injured reserve after nine games following a quad injury.

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Robinson has struggled staying healthy throughout his career but he’s got ideal size and athleticism that allowed him to play both inside and outside linebacker. Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott values defenders that offer versatility, which Robinson will provide. A quality coverage linebacker (0.9 Pro Football Focus coverage grade in the last two season), Robinson brings a different skill-set and more athleticism than Buffalo’s primary backup and veteran Ramon Humber.

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Matt Milano is currently dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the team’s minicamp and OTA’s while Lorenzo Alexander’s role has been reduced to a situational pass rusher and special teams captain, making the need for a linebacker larger. Rookie Tremaine Edmunds is a rookie that is adjusting to the NFL, so adding Keenan Robinson could prove valuable.

Robinson is an interesting signing for the Bills. As Cover 1’s Rob Quinn covered in his recent post, Buffalo’s roster is extremely thin and filled largely with unproven players at a majority of the positions. The former Giant not only brings experience, but versatility to the Bills’ linebacker room, giving the coaching staff some security as a player they can potentially count on to make an impact behind Edmunds and Milano. While far from a lock to make the final 53-man roster at this point, the signing is similar to Gerald Hodges last year – a player that can provide insurance if the younger linebackers aren’t able to step up in training camp or the preseason.