You want to talk about second chances … contrary to popular belief, the Seattle Seahawks do believe in redemption, and former first round pick Koren Robinson will get that chance beginning with Wednesday's practice.
Three years after the Seahawks released the embattled wide receiver, the ninth overall pick of the 2001 draft, he was re-signed Tuesday in the wake of six receivers – including quarterback Seneca Wallace – unavailable due to injury.
Evidently an offseason conversation between Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Robinson spurred the quarterback to make a suggestion, team president Tim Ruskell had his personnel department do some research and meet with Robinson … and everybody came to an agreement.
Four years after the Seahawks released him, he was checking out his new locker.
"Initially, I was against it just because everybody knows what our commitment is in terms of character," Ruskell said. "If this was the Koren we left four years ago, that would be warranted. This was a lot of talking. This was a lot of research ... But Koren's a good person ... All of us believe in second chances, but this could be a good story and Koren wants that."
Robinson, 28, played split end for three seasons with the Seahawks, starting 52 of 57 career games, posting 213 receptions for 3,167 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2002, he became the fifth receiver in Seahawks history to record a 1,000-yard season with 1,240 yards, second only to Steve Largent's 1,287 yards in 1985.
He spent the 2005 season with Minnesota where he earned a Pro Bowl selection as the NFC's return specialist after leading the NFC with a 26.0 yard kick return average and ranking second on Minnesota's single-season kickoff return yards list with 1,221. He has spent parts of the last two seasons in Green Bay where he played in 13 games with one start. For his career, he has started 58 of 84 games, with 263 receptions for 3,844 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Robinson said he saw Hasselbeck in a retreat in Dallas before training camp and he's looking forward to moving right back into the position he left behind. Knowledge of coach Mike Holmgren's offense is huge under the circumstances of so many players lost to injury, so the hope is Robinson – after knocking some of the rust off – will be ready to roll.
"You know the talk about a bike, getting back on it, (that's how I feel about) the West Coast offense," Robinson said. "Especially, being my first home, four years under the West Coast offense, under Coach Holmgren. I still remember the playbook terminology. Maybe a word's changed here or there, but for the most part, I still know the playbook.
"I've been working out. I've got my trainer over in North Carolina - going out on the field, doing dynamic workouts, getting on the treadmill, running, sprinting a little; all that good stuff; just trying to stay in shape."
More than anything this is the opportunity that he never thought he'd receive, and now he realizes the best second chance he could ever get in the wake of off-field troubles. He says with two little boys and a little girl on the way with his wife Joy, this has the making of a storybook ending.
"Just because of the terms and the circumstances that I left Seattle on, I never would think that I'd be back," Robinson said. "Definitely it's always good to get a second chance. I'm grateful for this chance, this opportunity. I think it can be a good story, both for me and the franchise."