The Chicago Bears finally feel like they have something cooking on offense. GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy have spent the past three years trying to piece together a roster that can put points on the board. While it remains a work in progress in some areas, there is genuine optimism for this year. A big part of that comes from what they’ve done at wide receiver. People continue to talk about their newest additions this offseason, but the real intrigue comes from Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney.
This is a receiving combination a lot of experts never saw coming. For literal years it was anticipated that Robinson and Anthony Miller would end up being that duo in Chicago. Miller unfortunately never took that next step. Then last year Mooney ascended from obscurity as a 5th round pick to break the franchise record for receptions by a rookie with 66. Together he and Robinson combined for 1,881 yards and 10 touchdowns.
This with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles at quarterback.
What might they be able to accomplish with better play at that position? It would seem the rest of the NFL might be thinking the same thing. Dan Pompei of The Athletic checked in with a number of scouts around the league. They were complimentary of what the Bears have going at receiver. Especially the tandem at the top in Robinson and Mooney. They could do some real damage this season.
The Bears need Robinson and Mooney to stay healthy. Scout B said Robinson is excellent and underrated, and Mooney was impressive as a rookie. “Love Robinson and Mooney,” Scout C said. “They’re both good, and they complement each other.”
“I don’t know if the group scares you, but it’s not deficient,” Scout D said.
What they say is true. Both players are completely different in their talents and styles. Robinson is a technician as a route runner and deadly in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field. Mooney on the other hand is a dangerous vertical threat. Somebody who forces defenses to play softer coverages for fear of getting beat deep. That enables somebody like Robinson to feast with added cushion. Last season provided glimpses of it.
Will Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney be a thing for long?
That is the big question a lot of Bears fans have. This could be a combination the team enjoys for a long time. The problem is the organization hasn’t been able to reach any sort of common ground on a contract extension for Robinson. Unless something changes between this coming January and the beginning of March? He is likely to become a free agent. At that point, Mooney would be the last man standing in the wide receiver room.
Not an ideal situation for a team that is hoping to build around their new quarterback in Justin Fields. It isn’t certain why the Bears haven’t extended Allen Robinson. All anybody can say is the two sides are too far apart on money. Rumors persist they wanted him somewhere in the $16-17 million per year range. Robinson believes he is worth something closer to $20 million. Given how much he’s meant to their passing game? He is well within his rights to feel that way.
This will be a story all season long.
Especially if the scouts are right and the Robinson-Mooney combination thrives. Don’t expect the receiver to back off his stance on the contract. It will come down to whether the Bears are willing to get closer to his price. Either way, if this team is going to win in 2021 those two will be a major part of why.