Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson caught on with the team as a fourth-rounder back in 2016 — and ever since, he has been a staple in the form of a role player. When his rookie contract expired after the 2019 championship season, Robinson explored free agency but ultimately ended up back with the Chiefs on a four-year qualifying contract.
Robinson once again explored this offseason, and though another team showed interest, he once again felt his best option was to sign a one-year contract (for the veteran salary benefit) with the Chiefs.
“I chose the Chiefs because of my family, the culture, just talking with everybody, seeing what would best fit me,” the receiver told NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Thursday. “I had another team — Detroit — that was also looking into me. The Chiefs just wanted me more at the time.
“Everybody helped me make the best decision for my situation, and it was going back to the Chiefs.”
The Lions would have made for an intriguing fit for Robinson, given the losses of top receivers Kenny Golladay (New York Giants) and Marvin Jones Jr. (Jacksonville Jaguars), but the Chiefs lost a key receiver as well in Sammy Watkins (Baltimore Ravens).
That — and discussing the decision with those that matter most to Robinson — led him back to Kansas City.
“Just talking to everybody, talking to my agent, talking to my wife and my kid and my coaches, he said. “Pat (Mahomes) [had] a big [impact] on it. Just seeing what I can do, seeing what they saw in me for my role next year — and without Sammy being there... they said it’ll pick up a lot more. And they got a lot of things in store for me. I’m ready to go back to work and see what they got going for me.”
Robinson finished with career-highs in receptions (45) and yards (466) in 2020 — and to his point, his two best games of the season, yardage-wise, came in games Watkins was out of the lineup. Robinson had five catches for 69 yards in the 26-17 Chiefs win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 6, and he had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown during Week 8 in a 35-9 Chiefs win over the New York Jets.
From Weeks 6 to 11, when Watkins was out of the lineup, Robinson averaged 3.8 catches for 42.8 yards. With those numbers over a 16-game season, Robinson would check in with over 680 yards, blowing his previous career-high out of the water.
But he plans to set his sights even higher in 2021.
“Every other season, it’s four, five touchdowns, 500 yards,” he explained. “I just think it picks up a little bit more right now. I’m looking for the opportunity — not for them to give me the opportunity, that role — but go in there and take the opportunity, and go in there and show that I am a guy who can put up 1,000 yards a year and 10 touchdowns. And I’m ready to make that happen. They said they’ve got something in store for me. I’m ready to show them.”
The self-confidence is there for the 26-year-old, who has played a role for Kansas City in three straight AFC title games, the back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and 2019’s title win. And he also expressed confidence in the personnel staff and the moves they have made after Super Bowl LV did not go his team’s way.
“I’ve been very blessed to be on this team,” added Robinson. “(Brett) Veach and Andy (Reid), they know what they’re doing. They’re looking at great guys. (Joe) Thuney is a great guy. They brought in some other guys to help the team, and I think we’re getting pretty stacked on that [offensive] line. I don’t think [Mahomes] going to have to be scrambling for his life no more.”
It was revealed during the season that such plays were inspired by the players themselves — who presented them to Reid at practice.
“If Andy likes it, he’ll put his little twist on it and just make it a little bit better,” said Robinson.
The Chiefs did not empty the playbook in that regard, according to Robinson. He disclosed that the Chiefs never were able to use one of them for Watkins, likely in part to his injury-riddled season.
“Sammy had one called, ‘Martian Right,’ and we never had a chance to use it. I can’t tell you how it goes yet because [we may run it].”
Robinson hopes that in 2021, they run it for him.