Before digging into everything, one thing must be made clear. The Chicago Bears want to keep Allen Robinson. They view him as a really good football player. Somebody they love having in the locker room and on the field. Unfortunately, the harsh realities of NFL business continue to get in the way. For a year now the two sides have tried to find common ground on a long-term contract extension.
It hasn’t materialized. Robinson claims the team isn’t making a fair offer. The Bears seem to think his demands are way too high. Combine this with uncertainty regarding the 2021 salary cap and their limited space available? There was a genuine fear Robinson could end up playing elsewhere. Does that mean he will hit free agency? After a tense few hours with the deadline closing in, sanity prevailed.
The Bears have placed the franchise tag on Robinson.
Bears placed franchise tag on WR Allen Robinson, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
While tagging Robinson is the obvious move, it begs the question. What do the Bears do next? They’ll be looking at an additional $18 million hitting their salary cap this season. A number they’d prefer not be so high. That is why a long-term extension is preferable. Using the tag could at least buy GM Ryan Pace more time to continue negotiations.
However, it doesn’t feel like the wide receiver is going to back down from whatever number he has in his head. So if that remains the case, it leads to another source of major speculation. Would the Bears utilize a tag-and-trade scenario, sending Robinson to another team in exchange for draft compensation?
Interest in Allen Robinson is quite high around NFL
In the eyes of many, he is the best player set to hit free agency now that Dak Prescott has signed his long-term deal in Dallas. At 27-years old, he hasn’t missed a game in two years and is coming off a season where he topped 1200 yards despite Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles being his quarterbacks. Plenty of teams need a reliable, go-to target like that. So if the Bears realize they can’t keep him, will they trade?
The answer is a tentative yes. A source indicated to me that a tag-and-trade scenario is definitely in play. Several teams have contacted the Bears about this possibility. Enough to where it’s felt they might be able to get a solid return for him. What would that be? Keep in mind letting Allen Robinson walk would secure Chicago a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2022. So it’s a safe bet that a 3rd rounder is the floor with a desire for more.
It’s not ideal but it is an option the Bears know they have.
One other thing the source mentioned? Robinson is highly interested in what the team plans to do at quarterback. It could have a significant impact on how these negotiations play out. The goal remains to keep the star wide receiver in Chicago. They’re still in hot pursuit of that new quarterback. Perhaps acquiring a good one would help fast-track the process.
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