It was a foregone conclusion that Allen Robinson was going to be brought up at some point during the Chicago Bears‘ first press conference since January. Both GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy spoke to the media. Both were asked about the general situation regarding their star wide receiver.
Pace was his usual cryptic self, continuing to call it “a process.” He’s aware the franchise tag is an option but they’re holding out hope an extension can still be reached. As for Nagy, he reiterated the team loves Robinson and wants him back. He had nothing to offer in regards to the contract talks though, understanding it’s not his place. When the conferences finally concluded, it didn’t take long for a rebuttle.
Robinson’s agent Brandon Parker had an interesting comment on Twitter.
I plead the 5th
— Brandon Parker (@B_Parker21) March 2, 2021
What does that mean? It’s hard to say. Yet it is pretty easy to surmise that what Pace and Nagy had to say wasn’t to his liking. In his mind, they weren’t telling the whole story. Maybe that Robinson isn’t the problem in all this. They are. If anything else, this serves as a pretty clear reminder that the two sides remain deadlocked with no resolution in sight.
The franchise tag deadline is March 9th. That means the Bears have one week remaining to determine what they’ll do. Will they let him walk in free agency? Will they tag him and keep him another year or will they pull a rare tag-and-trade option, sending him to another team for a draft pick? Pace made it seem that no decision has been made yet. Whatever that decision ends up being, he’ll have to make it soon.
Allen Robinson has dug his heels in. So what now?
It’s pretty apparent the wide receiver has a set number in his head for a new contract. Rumors have indicated it’s $100 million. The same contract that Amari Cooper got from Dallas. Or he wants a four-year deal which would make him the second-highest paid receiver in the NFL. That complicates things. The Bears want to keep Robinson but they don’t have a lot of cap space to throw around. If he isn’t willing to work with them a little, then it leads to situations like this one.
There are no signs Allen Robinson will lower his price tag. Especially for a team with questions at quarterback. The Bears have to ask themselves. Is he really worth that much money. Yes, he’s been really good for them the past two years but wide receivers aren’t usually the position group that makes or breaks a team on offense. That is the quarterback and offensive line.
If somebody else wants to pay him that, maybe the Bears should let them.
Expectations right now are that Chicago will franchise tag him. He’s just too valuable to their 2021 plans. Robinson won’t like it. He’s made his hatred of the tag known for months. A holdout would likely follow were this to happen. From there, Pace has a choice. Keep trying to work out an extension or start fielding trade offers.