THERE was a "lengthy debate" ahead of Brisbane signing Mitch Robinson as a delisted free agent in 2014, Lions CEO Greg Swann recalls.

After 100 games in six seasons for Carlton, Robinson was moved on after some off-field indiscretions.

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Swann had presided over the Blues as their CEO for all-bar two of Robinson's games before he took the same job at the Lions in July 2014.

Mitch Robinson ahead of his 100th and final game at Carlton. Picture: AFL Photos

Justin Leppitsch was one year into his tenure as Brisbane's coach, and with a young team on-field that has recently farewelled retired champion Jonathan Brown, was in desperate need of some experience.

But was Robinson the right fit?

"There was a lengthy debate about whether we should or shouldn't (take him)," Swann recalled.

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"His off-field things had coloured a few people's opinions, but when they (recruiting and coaching staff) spoke to him, there was a story behind most of them that wasn't all that bad.

"Despite some issues off the field, he was a pro, he always trained hard and looked after himself, and the main reason was we had a young team and we needed a harder body to look after them, someone who was fearless and could protect his mates."

Brisbane took the punt and it could not have paid off any better – for player and club.

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On Friday night against Essendon, Robinson will run out for his 200th career game, and 100th in Brisbane colours.

He shared the best and fairest in 2015, was second in 2016 and has established himself as a reliable wingman the past two years, earning himself a contract until the end of 2021.

"I've known him since he started," Swann said.

"I've seen him mature. We're pretty close, we exchange texts and he's always at me to recruit this bloke and that bloke.

"I'm just rapt for him. I'm so pleased his family will be there, he's very close to them."

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Robinson said he still felt a debt of gratitude to Swann.

"From the get-go when I got to the Blues he showed faith in, he said.

"When he left it put a sour taste in my mouth and when the opportunity was there to come up here, he vouched for me.

"I wouldn't be at Brisbane if it wasn't for Swanny - I owe a lot to him and his family."

Robinson has become not only a reliable on-field performer and fan favourite, but a settled family man off it, with partner Emma and children Chance and Charli.

"I just understand when it gets taken away from you, you don't always get that second chance, and when you do, take it with both hands," he said.

"Obviously my partner and my kids have been a driving factor in the way I play my football and live my life these days - a lot has changed since I was a 24-year-old at the Carlton Footy Club."

Swann sums up Robinson's impact in Brisbane perfectly.

"You know you're going to get 100 percent commitment and that's all you can ask as a teammate and a club," he said.

"I wouldn't want to be the bloke standing him on his 200th, he might go up a cog."