The Chicago Bears are set to place the franchise tag on wide receiver Allen Robinson, per NFL insider Adam Schefter. There was little doubt the Bears were going to keep their best offensive player around, and now, that doubt has been removed, as the team confirmed the news shortly after.
There’s still a chance the Bears could tag Robinson before trading him, but based on comments Chicago’s current GM made last week, the Bears are more likely going to try to work out a long-term deal with the talented wideout instead.
“We love Allen Robinson. He’s a great player for us,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said last week. “And not just the player but the teammate, the professional that he is. Again, the franchise tag is an option for us. 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.”
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Will Bears Work Out Long-Term Deal With A-Rob?
Now that the tag has been used, the Bears have until July 15 to hammer out a deal that keeps his talents in the Windy City for years to come. Salary cap-wise, Chicago is paying A-Rob just under $18 million in 2021, and while he’s worth more than that, it’s a move that is going to force the team to make some tough decisions moving forward.
The Bears were wise not to let their top wideout walk — but will they be wise enough to pay him soon — and handsomely — so as to avoid any further conflict?
“We have a history of extending our players, as you mentioned. We usually find a way to make that work. The proof is kind of in the pudding with that, and every one of them is different,” Pace said last week when asked about Robinson. “It’s a process. It takes both sides to work through that, and every one of them is unique. I do like to lean on our history. I think (Director of Football Administration) Joey Laine does a great job of working through that and building relationships with those agents. Allen has a really good agent that we’ve worked with in the past, and it’s a process. We’re kind of going through that.”
Insider Has Hinted Robinson May Protest Playing Under Tag
Insider Ty Dunne, who has known Robinson since his days playing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, spoke with the 27-year-old receiver in February about what being tagged might mean. “The franchise tag is this archaic, weaponized tool used by teams to really not let a guy get what he’s worth,” Dunne said. “If Allen Robinson draws that line in the sand, I think we are going to see more of a shift with stars taking control.”
Does Dunne think Robinson would sit out an entire season in protest if he doesn’t get a long-term deal? “I don’t think he’ll take it that far,” Dunne said, but he also noted that Robinson could very well “push back” if he’s not offered what he feels he’s worth. Hopefully for the Bears and their fans, Pace and company get a deal done with A-Rob, who has been one of the most consistent and productive wideouts in the league over the last several years.