Patrick Robinson was once a first-round pick drafted by the New Orleans Saints out of Florida State with the 32nd overall pick.
Heralded as an athletic corner with great footwork, the Saints nabbed a player they obviously hoped would become a starter and perhaps even a star. But that was a long time ago, in 2010, and Robinson's career simply hasn't gone to plan.
After signing a one-year, prove-it deal with the Eagles earlier this week, the 29-year-old Robinson is on his third team in as many years. Meeting with Philly reporters on Friday afternoon, Robinson admitted he's never been able to fulfill his potential.
"And this year, I'm trying to reach it," Robinson said. "I'm going to do whatever I have to do to reach it."
What will it take for Robinson to reach that potential?
"Really, for me, it's a matter of staying healthy, but being more consistent on the field," he said. "You have to be dependable. As a coach, you want a player that's going to be the same player week in and week out. Not a great player, then mediocre, then great. You want someone who's going to be the same player week in and week out."
As a rookie, Robinson played in 11 games and started four. Then in 2011 and 2012, he had his two best pro seasons. In that two-year span, he had seven of his 10 career interceptions and 33 of his career 59 passes defended.
In 2012, he played and started in all 16 games for the first -- and still only -- time in his career. But two games into the 2013 season, he suffered a serious patella tendon injury and was lost for the year.
Was that the moment that derailed his career?
"I don't know. I don't know," he said Friday, talking almost in a whisper to answer this particular question. "It happened and I was out for that year and I learned a lot and I definitely worked hard to get back to where I was healthy. And that's just a part of life. When things happen, you just have to deal with it the best you can."
Robinson returned for one more season with the Saints in 2014 but left after his rookie deal was finished and moved on to the Chargers in 2015 and the Colts in 2016. The Colts actually signed Robinson to a three-year deal but cut him after just one year plagued with a hernia injury.
So, now, Robinson is with the Eagles on a one-year deal -- a "prove-it" deal as it is commonly referred to in the NFL.
"That's how I'm approaching it," Robinson said. "I'm just trying to be the best player I know that I can be. Guys that know me, know the type of player they think I can be."
While Robinson will be able to put out tape for all 32 teams in the league, he's hoping he'll prove enough to stick in Philly and earn a long-term deal. At the very least, Robinson will provide a veteran presence in a cornerback room that doesn't have much after Nolan Carroll walked in free agency and Leodis McKelvin was cut.
There seems to be a ton of opportunity with the Eagles for a cornerback, but Robinson claimed he didn't really take the barren roster into consideration while making his decision. Really, it seemed like the biggest influence on his decision was former teammate Malcolm Jenkins.
Robinson talked to Jenkins three or four days ago and the Eagles' veteran safety -- who was Robinson's teammate in New Orleans -- said the locker room was great. In addition to Jenkins, Robinson has also been a teammate of Nigel Bradham's in college and Darren Sproles with the Saints.
"So," Robinson said, "I went with (Jenkins' advice) and took that into consideration and that made me think about coming here and that was my decision."
When asked about what his role on the team will be, Robinson didn't come close to putting a label on it, instead saying he just wants to come in and compete and be the best player he can be and blah, blah, blah.
But the Eagles have a clear need for starting cornerbacks and Robinson will have a chance to earn a job just like everyone else who gets thrown into the competition.
His NFL career hasn't gone according to plan, but he's hoping there's still time to change all that. Either way, he owns it.
"But I would say that's all on me," he said. "I'm not the type of player that's going to put blame, this guy did this or this guy did that. It's on me as a player to play good. If you play good, then you're fine. If you don't play good, then you have to deal with the consequences."