Allen Robinson and the Chicago Bears haven’t discussed a new contract in months. Word filtered out they broke off talks at some point in early October. This has led to genuine fears the star wide receiver will walk out the door as a free agent next March. Once again the franchise will prove itself unable to hang onto good weapons for their quarterback.
The 27-year old is now over 1,200 yards for the season. Only the fifth receiver in team history to post back-to-back years over the 1,000-yard mark. He’s in his prime and playing the best football of his career. Why aren’t the Bears being more aggressive in their efforts to keep him? The only excuse that has made any sense is the anticipated drop of the salary cap in 2021 and even that’s a difficult argument to buy.
Is there really no hope in this Robinson situation?
Not according to Albert Breer. The Sports Illustrated insider had a Periscope at halftime of the Monday Night Football game between Buffalo and New England. He was asked about where Robinson will end up playing next year. His comment, though short was surprisingly candid. He seems to be pretty confident the receiver will be in a Bears uniform in 2021.
He’s obviously not specific in terms of how that comes to be. There are two ways it could end up going down. Either the Bears manage to convince him to sign a long-term deal or more likely they use the franchise tag to secure him for another season. No doubt in hopes of extending their window to talk with him about a long-term deal.
Could Allen Robinson see the transition tag?
This is a tactic the Bears already used once before in 2018 with Kyle Fuller. The idea was they’d led the rest of the NFL set the market for the cornerback. The Packers eventually made an offer which Chicago quickly matched at four years, $56 million. Rather than continue to go back and forth on negotiations, the team could just do the same with Robinson. Let the league determine his price.
That could be a bigger risk than Fuller though who only had one solid year of play going into 2018. Allen Robinson has consistently played like a top guy for two full seasons now. He’s not too old either. So it’s possible a team will end up offer upwards of $20 million or more per year. Far above the reported line the Bears were hoping for. Would they be prepared to meet that price? They better be otherwise they would lose Robinson for no compensation at all. Not even a compensatory pick.
So they best do that with full plans to match any offer.
A lot of this could end up depending on who is running the team. It’s not a lock that GM Ryan Pace will be back next year. Robinson could be negotiating with a new regime. That could end up being for the better or the worse. Hopefully, both sides see reason and make this thing happen.