Bears GM: Robinson Franchise Tag On Table

Allen Robinson served as the Bears’ clear-cut top skill-position option over the past three seasons, and his second run at free agency may not come to pass.

Rumblings of the Bears being prepared to use their franchise tag on the No. 1 receiver surfaced last month, and GM Ryan Pace broached the subject Tuesday.

The franchise tag is an option for us,” Pace said, via The Athletic’s Adam Jahns (on Twitter). “It doesn’t mean we’re necessarily going to use that. But we want to keep our good players. And Allen is a good player for us.”

Fellow receiver tag candidates Chris Godwin and Kenny Golladay would be straightforward tag recipients, but Robinson being on a veteran deal that counted $15MM against the Bears’ cap last season would drive up his tag price. The CBA mandates players be tagged at either the cap-determined figure for their respective position or 120% of their prior year’s salary, whichever number is greater. The latter scenario would apply to Robinson, whose tag price would be $18MM.

That will put the Bears to a decision, with the cap set to fall to perhaps by nearly $20MM from its $198MM place. Even after cutting Buster Skrine on Monday, the Bears have less than $1MM in projected cap space.

But Robinson, 27, has been far and away Chicago’s top receiving option since joining the team three years ago. His 1,250 receiving yards this past season, with lower-end QBs Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles throwing him passes, played a key role in Chicago booking a postseason berth.

Robinson’s negotiations with the Bears did not go smoothly last year, and while a tag would mean a nice one-year payday, the sides do not appear to have a smooth path to an extension by the July 15 deadline. But with Pace and Matt Nagy on hot seats, the Bears keeping Robinson certainly makes sense. The franchise will soon need to determine who will throw him passes, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Bears GM: Robinson Franchise Tag On Table

  1. dan55

    I feel so bad for Robinson. He is an elite receiver but he can’t produce without a good quarterback. I really hope he doesn’t get tagged.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    Finally got some stability at the kicker position so maybe they should tag Cairo Santos.

  3. cbrookhouzen

    ARob isn’t fast, he doesn’t excel after the catch, and was targeted 80% of the time because Trubisky’s inability to scan the entire field. $18M is a lot for an elite possession receiver. Pass – spend that money on a QB or an OT.

    • htrab77

      Imagine being the defense playing against him; knowing that he’s the only threat on the field, and still not being able to shut the guy down. Complain about his lack of speed or lack of YAC? Then you might want to consider the 2 covering him underneath (including the other teams best CB), plus a safety over the top. Guys getting tiered coverage like that aren’t YAC; Calvin wasn’t even a YAC guy, nor did he have elite speed, but you wouldn’t find one sane person bitching that he was lacking in those areas despite having a sub-par QB and no other perceivable offensive threats to take the heat off him.

  4. MileHighFan

    Great receivers are game changers, and Robinson isn’t that, thus he isn’t worth franchise tag money at his position. Make him a fair offer and don’t hamstring the rest of your roster by over-paying.

    • thebare54

      Not over kill on pay but franchise him if he don’t like it we most get line man and he ever had a QB that had time to throw he will be Elite not just great

  5. shortsighted

    Did we just read he will make 18mm if he is tagged. How do you look at that as poor
    Allen. I’m convinced he will be tagged but I’m not sure how much higher he can be paid on a longer term contract. I think the hang up isn’t money but how much guaranteed money he will get. In any case I hope he’s with the Bears

  6. thebare54

    Even if we take a WR in the draft pay Robinson you don’t let that talent walk if he had a Superman 1 as a QB we can be awesome but next 2 picks must be OL a tackle to move Leno to the right side.

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