The Chicago Bears and Allen Robinson are unlikely to come to terms on a contract extension before the deadline.
Allen Robinson is the best offensive player on the offensively challenged Chicago Bears so why haven’t they signed their best receiver to a contract extension yet?
Robinson, 27, and the Bears haven’t had substantive talks in months and are unlikely to reach an agreement on an extension by the July 15 deadline for players receiving the franchise tag, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
He is set to play on the $17.98 million tender as the Bears franchise player and will be a free agent after the season.
Allen Robinson contract extension should be an easy call for the Bears
Bears fans have campaigned for an extension for Robinson for the better part of the last year-plus, including former Bears teammate, Cordarelle Patterson. While it seems like a no-brainer for the Bears to lock up the receiver who has had 200 catches for 13 touchdowns the last two seasons on the receiving end of passes from Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel and Nick Foles, Bears management is taking a deliberate approach.
Robinson wants to be paid like one of the top receivers in the NFL. The Bears are more inclined to wait and see how he plays with Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields this year before deciding to let him walk in free agency or sign him to a contract after this season.
The Bears need Allen Robinson more than he needs the Bears
The benefit to the Bears signing him to an extension now is the cap figure for 2021 is lowered with the extension stretching out his cap hit. The downside to waiting to sign him is risking Robinson not wanting to return under any circumstance and seeking the highest contract he can attract as a free agent.
Robinson is arguably the most talented receiver in Bears history and the thought of him walking after this year is a tough prospect for fans to stomach. How well the Bears fare in 2021 will likely indicate how willing Bears general manager Ryan Pace is in bringing him back.
If the Bears struggle and look like a far cry from a playoff-caliber team, investing $20 million per year for a wide receiver may not seem like the wisest move. The Bears may have to rebuild a defense that’s gotten older and less productive in recent years and Pace may decide finding a receiver is cheaper through the draft or find more cost-effective options in free agency.
Allen Robinson’s future in Chicago could hinge on success of Justin Fields
While Pace and the Bears assess the bottom line and how Robinson fits in the future plans, the bottom line is the Bears are a better football team with Robinson on it.
If Robinson wants to cash in, his best bet is having Fields take over for Dalton sooner than later and establishing a rapport that sees him produce at a high level. If that happens, Robinson and the Bears may get an extension done. If it doesn’t happen, the Bears will have one of the worst group of receiver talent in the NFL, again,