Andy Dalton has spoken to several of his new Bears teammates, including the quarterback who will presumably be backing him up in Nick Foles, but — at least at the time of his introductory press conference Thursday afternoon — he hasn’t yet talked to his top wide receiver, Allen Robinson.
That could have changed immediately following Dalton’s presser, of course, but considering it’s common for new quarterbacks to speak to their new teammates upon getting signed — particularly ones they’ll be working closest with — it did raise a few eyebrows.
Of the teammates he has spoken to, Dalton revealed that he and Foles have already gotten off to a good start, and the Red Rifle says he’s excited to have a fresh start in the Windy City. “I’ve known Nick for a while. Texas guy. I watched him in high school, so we’ve known each other and been around each other some,” Dalton said. “I’ve talked to Nick. I think it’s going to be a great working relationship, so I’m excited to actually get to be on the same team with him and get a chance to play with him.”
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Dalton Has Spoken to Several Teammates, But Not Allen Robinson
When Andrew Seligman of the Associated Press asked Dalton if he has spoken with any of his new teammates, singling out Allen Robinson, Dalton said this: “I’ve talked to a lot of guys on the team. It’s been awesome for me to join a new team and have so many guys reach out and so many guys welcome me to the team. So I’m very thankful for that. I think it shows the culture we have here and how good of a group this team has.”
When Seligman followed up, asking Dalton if he’d spoke to Robinson specifically, Dalton finally admitted: “I have not talked with Allen Robinson yet, no.”
Dalton was professional and courteous throughout his 22-minute interview Thursday, and he certainly wasn’t bad-mouthing A-Rob. In fact, the new Bears quarterback spoke glowingly about his new No. 1 receiver:
Allen is a great player. I’ve watched him from afar, been on the other side playing against him. He can do so much — he’s so good when the ball is in the air, he can separate, he’s a complete receiver. He can kind of do it all. You love to see that. You love to have a guy that you know that when they are one-on-one, more times than not, they’re going to make the play and give him the chance to do what he can do. I’m excited about getting to work with him. He has tremendous skill and he’s proven that year in and year out.
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Robinson Signed Franchise Tag in Surprising Move Thursday
In a surprising move, Robinson, who had previously insinuated he had no plans to sign his franchise tag, did a 180 and signed it late Thursday. As first reported by insider Ian Rapoport, the move likely stemmed from a lackluster wide receivers market — or perhaps from a meeting the Bears just had with top free agent wideout Kenny Golladay influenced his decision, as well.
Regardless, it was a bit surprising to hear Robinson hadn’t yet spoken to his new quarterback, if for no other reason than he has been an exemplary teammate throughout his career, and Dalton did note “many” teammates reached out to him, which makes Robinson not contacting Dalton stand out a bit more. Surely, A-Rob has his reasons, whatever they may be, and they’re likely understandable.