Allen Robinson has been the Bears’No. 1 chain-mover since 2018. Now, the Pro Bowler could be weeks away from free agency. Of course, it’s not a given that he’ll get there. The Bears could keep Robinson from the market with a pricey multi-year extension. Or, they could cuff him for another year with the franchise tag. So far, the two sides haven’t much progress on Scenario 1.
“My personal opinion, if something could possibly work? Yes,” Robinson said (via Tyler Dunne of Go Long). “I’m not opposed to being back in Chicago by any means. I’ve even expressed that over the last couple of years — wanting to be the all-time leading receiver in Chicago which, I believe, I’m under 2,000 yards away from that. With all that being said, unfortunately we’ve come to what seems to be a fork in the road. But not even a fork. We haven’t even been given a viable option to be able to do those things that we want to do without sacrificing a ridiculous amount pretty much for the rest of my career.”
Robinson, 28 in August, is coming off of his best season as a Bear. In 2020, he finished out with 102 catches for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns, in spite of the Bears’ overall inconsistency.
The franchise tag would kick the can down the road, but Robinson doesn’t want to get tagged. Also, the Bears are facing a cap crunch, so even a one-year, ~$17MM deal could be too rich for Chicago’s blood. Robinson, meanwhile, wants pre-pandemic top-WR money — that means $20MM+ per year, on average. It’s also worth noting that he views himself as the market’s top wide receiver, ahead of Buccaneers standout Chris Godwin.
The Bears have not used the franchise tag since 2016, when they kept Alshon Jeffery from reaching the open market. That tender did not lead to a new deal — Jeffery played out the year and joined up with the Eagles the following year. This time around, many view the tag as likely, but this could wind up being a tag-and-trade situation. The Bears’ offense can’t really afford to be without Robinson’s athleticism, but they also have a number of other needs to consider, including the quarterback situation.