Last week there was a bit of an interesting development. During the Chicago Bears‘ loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the agent of Allen Robinson took to Twitter to vent his frustrations with the team. Brandon Parker has always come across as a straightforward guy interested in a collaborative effort for both sides. It probably takes a lot to get him riled up.
Seems the Bears found a way. How? Over the course of the game, despite numerous opportunities, the team just routinely refused to target Robinson, their best pass target, in the red zone. This despite a glittering reputation for making contested catches in tight spaces. It couldn’t possibly be about talent. So the only explanation to him was baffling decisions by the coaching staff.
He’s not entirely wrong either.
Tight ends coach Clancy Barone freely admitted a few weeks ago that the Bears scheme doesn’t have plays drawn up for specific players. It’s about the QB identifying which side of the field to throw to based on the coverage he reads. Not the greatest look considering Matt Nagy is building a reputation for having no idea how to maximize the talents of his players.
So it got really interesting when this issue was brought up to Robinson during his recent press conference. Now he was never going to outright throw his coaches under the bus. That being said, his answer could certainly be taken as a backhanded dig. Especially given how icy the situation between him and the team is lately.
Allen Robinson smiled when asked about red zone targets — his agent trashed the #Bears play-calling in that regard a week ago.
"You gotta trust in your coaches in the things they're calling and dialing up," he said.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) November 23, 2020
Allen Robinson is a professional but has every right to be upset
To be honest, Robinson has been way more of a professional in these circumstances than others would be. He’s done everything asked of him and more for the Bears. One can say he’s exceeded expectations. Barring something unexpected, he’ll finish with his second 1,000-yard season in a row. Yet the Bears have remained unwilling to meet his dollar amount on a new contract.
Now here he sits. Set to become a free agent in 2021. Does he stay in Chicago with a team that likely needs to reboot their entire offensive line and still find a quarterback? Or does he take his chances on the open market despite a real possibility he still might not get the money he’s looking for. This is the reality COVID-19 has created. Had the virus never come to pass, odds are Allen Robinson would already be locked up.
The timing of it all is simply brutal for the Bears.
Now expectations are Allen Robinson will be wearing another uniform next year. Another in a long line of good receivers who didn’t finish their career in Chicago. That figures to be a trend that will continue until the franchise hunts down that elusive quarterback they’ve pined for going on six or seven decades now. Who knows. Maybe the team can find a way to convince him to stay. Crazier things have happened.
Given his feelings as they sit though? Don’t count on it.