New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan usually has a winning touch when it comes to acquiring veteran players in trades, but he really blew it with Rashard Robinson.
On Tuesday, the trade went from bad to embarrassing, with the Associated Press reporting the second-year cornerback was arrested last month for allegedly possessing marijuana-laced candy.
Maybe that explains why he was a healthy scratch for the final two games.
Maccagnan took a chance on Robinson, knowing he had a history of off-the-field problems. At LSU, he was suspended in 2014 for a failed drug test and poor academics. He wasn’t allowed to re-enroll because he was arrested for unauthorized entry into a teammate’s apartment in June 2015. He transferred to a community college and trained for the 2016 draft.
The San Francisco 49ers picked him in the fourth round, but they lost patience because of his immaturity and penalty-prone ways. They found a sucker at the trading deadline, convincing the Jets to give up a fifth-round pick.
Somewhere in the Bay Area, 49ers GM John Lynch must be laughing.
Maccagnan has gambled on character risks, and one of those gambles turned into a success story — Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Maybe he saw Robinson as his new reclamation project, but here’s the difference: There was no downside to the Seferian-Jenkins move because they acquired him on waivers. With Robinson, they surrendered a piece of draft capital.
It was a puzzling trade because everybody with access to Google knew about Robinson’s troubles, but the Jets apparently were blinded by his size and speed.
The first red flag was his playing time, as he appeared in only 20 defensive snaps over the second half of the season. Think about it: He couldn’t crack a secondary that had no No. 3 cornerback. When he got into a game, he got torched so badly on one play that he was immediately benched.
Coach Todd Bowles was asked about Robinson’s inactivity before the final game: What’s wrong with him?
“Nothing,” Bowles said. “Just learning.”
At some point in December, Robinson was arrested. According to the AP report, police in Morris County, New Jersey, found “THC infused Peanut Budda Buddah Candy” in his possession. Even if he’s cleared by the authorities, he could face discipline from the league.
A bad trade just got worse.