Koren Lynard Robinson (born March 19, 1980) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons. He played college football for North Carolina State University. He was drafted by the Seahawks ninth overall in the 2001 NFL Draft, and also played for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers between stints with the Seahawks. He was selected to the Pro Bowl with the Vikings in 2005.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Robinson with the 9th overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. Robinson was released for repeatedly violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Coach Mike Holmgren was reduced to tears over the release because he said he’d prayed for Robinson every day, but said it had to be done because he was given many chances, gave many apologies and promises, and never came through on them.
Robinson was signed by the Minnesota Vikings after being released by Seattle. He was given a limited role in his time with the Vikings and was named the team’s kick returner. Despite it being the first time in his career he had returned kicks, Robinson made the Pro Bowl in 2005. However, after being involved in a high-speed car chase in the spring of 2006, the Vikings released him.
In September 2006, Robinson was signed by the Green Bay Packers, much by the urging of then-quarterback Brett Favre and GM Ted Thompson (former Seahawks executive who had drafted Robinson in 2001 in Seattle). After only playing four games, Robinson was put on a one-year suspension by the NFL due to charges resulting from the high-speed car chase that ended his tenure in Minnesota. The incident was his third violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. During his suspension, Robinson worked out with Favre’s trainer to stay in football shape. Robinson was reinstated by Commissioner Goodell in October 2007, and he completed the 2007 season with 21 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown. His only touchdown came against the Detroit Lions on December 30, 2007.
However, the Packers picked two younger receivers in the 2008 NFL Draft, creating a logjam at the position. Robinson was deemed expendable, and the Packers released him on May 9, 2008. Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said, “I think a lot of Koren. I’m very proud to be able to see him turn things around. He’s a true professional. He helped us in the locker room. He helped the young guys learn to be pros.”
On September 16, 2008, the Seahawks signed Robinson, due to the large number of injuries at the receiver position. In his second stint with the Seahawks, Robinson broke the franchise record with the longest catch in team history. Back-up quarterback Seneca Wallace threw a pass to Robinson that went for 90 yards and a touchdown on the Seahawks’ first play from scrimmage against the Philadelphia Eagles at Qwest Field in Seattle on November 2, 2008 which was also the longest pass in team history. On January 26
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, 2009 it was reported by Pro Football Weekly that Robinson was not expected to be back with the Seahawks the next season due to a chronic knee injury.
Robinson was signed by the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League on September 3, 2009.
Robinson was traded to the Sentinels for future considerations. He was suspended by the Sentinels on October 31 for failing to report for team meetings.
Robinson was arrested for drunk driving in May 2005, and pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence. Prior to this he had also been suspended four games for violating the substance abuse policy in 2004 and completed an offseason alcohol rehabilitation program. He was subsequently released by the Seahawks classic replica football shirts. On August 1, 2005, Robinson checked himself into a 28-day alcohol rehabilitation program in South Carolina. Afterwards, Robinson was acquired by the Vikings for the 2005 season.
During the 2005 Minnesota Vikings boat cruise scandal, Robinson was angry the Star Tribune associated him with the incident saying “I wasn’t there, as far as the whole situation, I just know I wasn’t on the boat, and I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want my name brought up because of what I just went through and what I’m still going through. So for my name to be brought up like that is just crazy and upsetting, because I don’t want anyone looking at me because I had nothing to do with it.”
On July 6, 2006, Koren Robinson’s agent, Alvin Keels, told the press Koren checked back into the South Carolina rehab center but did nothing wrong and would not go into details. When Koren heard it in the news he angrily denied he was in rehab and said he did not have a relapse. Koren said he just went in for a couple of relapse prevention classes to ensure his alcohol problems do not return.
On Tuesday, August 16, 2006, during the 2006 pre-season, it was reported that Robinson was again arrested and incarcerated for “driving while impaired”. This was the day after he was praised by ESPN’s Joe Theisman and many others in the press for his “proactive” approach to his struggles with alcohol and turning his life around. He was arrested at 10:45 pm just before he was supposed to be back to training camp in Mankato, MN. Charges of drunken driving, fleeing police (felony), reckless driving, and driving without a valid license are pending as of August 2006. The police report said he was clocked going at over 100 mph and he was charged with having a blood alcohol content of .11 (.08 is the legal limit in Minnesota.) It was later reported that five days before this arrest Koren received a citation on the same street for driving without a valid state license an hour after training camp curfew.
Robinson was released by the Vikings on Saturday August 26, 2006. The Vikings’ decision resulted in Robinson and his agent filing a union grievance since the collective bargaining agreement prohibits teams from releasing players for disciplinary reasons. On January 23, 2007 Robinson reached a deal with prosecutors to be sentenced on a single felony charge of fleeing police after leading officers on a high-speed chase in August, 2006. In exchange for Robinson’s Alford plea, prosecutors dismissed seven lesser charges related to drunken driving, reckless driving and driving without a license.
On February 20, 2007, Robinson was sentenced to 90 days in jail for fleeing police in August 2006. He served the sentence at the same time he serves 90 days for violating his probation in a separate drunken-driving case in Kirkland, Wash., last year. Robinson will be on probation for three years and must also complete 80 hours of community service and pay a $1,500 fine. On October 17, 2007 Robinson was reinstated with the NFL. He resumed practicing with the Green Bay Packers immediately. Since August, 2007, he had been training in Arizona with Brett Favre’s personal trainer, Ken Croner, in preparation for reinstatement. On October 30, 2007, Robinson was activated by the Packers to fill a roster spot vacated by DeShawn Wynn, who was placed on injured reserve.