Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff took out the scissors this morning and saved $17.4 million dollars by cutting defensive end John Abraham, running back Michael Turner, and Houston's old time favorite cornerback, Dunta Robinson.
Cuts are starting to be made around the NFL, so the big spenders in free agency are starting to crawl out from the dim lighting of the underworld and make themselves known. We should know in the next week or so if Houston is going to make cuts, like they did last year, and release a guy like wide receiver Kevin Walter or guard Wade Smith.
The other big trend going around the NFL today is the restructuring of contracts by pushing money back to a later date or changing salary money into guaranteed dollars, with an extension, to make cap room now. The Patriots went the latter route with Tom Brady, via contract extension, while the Steelers are looking to do the same with Ben Roethlisberger. The Cowboys restructured many deals as well. Many believe Houston will look to extend Antonio Smith while restructuring the deals of guys like Johnathan Joseph or Andre Johnson.
It will be interesting to see what route Houston takes. They will either have cap casualties or restructure deals in order to give Connor Barwin stacks on stacks to stay in Houston, or they'll attempt to cover up the leaks through free agency. They can also take the more conservative track by resigning cheaper players like James Casey and Shaun Cody and filling the holes left by Barwin and Glover Quin through the draft.
Now that Dunta Robinson is a mercenary, here are some numbers for you to ponder over on this fine Friday afternoon.
HOU Defense 2003 - 3,712 pass yards (31st in NFL), 22 TDs (21), 14 INTs (20), and 336 1st downs (32). The CB were Aaron Glenn and Marcus Coleman. Houston went 5-11.
HOU Defense 2004 - 3,615 pass yards (24), 32 TDs (30), 22 INTs (5), 304 1st downs(16). This was the year they drafted Robinson and Marcus Coleman was able to play FS again. HOU went 7-9.
Dunta Robinson's rookie season - 16 GS, 6 INTs, 19 PD, 3 FFs, 88 tackles.
HOU Defense 2010 - 4,280 pass yards (32), 33 TDs (31), 352 1st downs (31). This was the year Kareem Jackson was drafted and Robinson's first year roaming the turf of the Georgia Dome. HOU went 6-10.
Dunta Robinson's 2012 season - 540 snaps, 42 combined 1st Downs and TDs given up, rate of 7.78%, 1 INT, 8 PD and 80 tackles.
Kareem Jackson's 2012 season - 635 snaps, 28 combined 1st Downs and TDs, rate of 4.41%, 4 INTs, 16 PD, and 51 tackles.
The year Dunta left for Atlanta, Houston produced one of the worst pass defenses of all-time. Rookie Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Karmell Pollard, and Eugene Wilson manned the secondary. The team went 6-10 as a result of this abomination of a pass defense. After that putrid season, Houston hired Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator. The Texans drafted 11th and snatched up defensive demi-god J.J. Watt. In an alternate NFL universe, the one where Rick pays Dunta to stay in Houston, the Texans miss out on one of the best CBs in the league today, might have not hired Wade Phillips, probably would have gone 8-8 and lost the opportunity to take Watt.
All Robinson is today is a swagger guy, like Adam Jones, that can play nickle corner and can occasionally make a play. He can still bring energy by waving his arms around like an air traffic controller after he deflects a pass and can deliver a big hit to receiver coming down the middle of the field (even if most are illegal helmet-to-helmet hits). Dunta will be wearing something other than a Falcon on his helmet this season, and I wish him all the best in his job search - even if that means nothing at all. It's a bummer he didn't play his whole career like his rookie season and continually produce ridiculous plays like the video below while wearing deep steel blue.
Dunta Robinson Return (via Carr2Johnson)
Thoughts on Dunta?