The Chicago Bears played around in contract negotiations with Allen Robinson and now there are bad feelings. They need to find a resolution before they lose not only their best offensive player but also the rest of the team.
Exactly two months ago today, I wrote about how the Chicago Bears needed to stop playing around and get a deal done with their best offensive weapon, wide receiver Allen Robinson. Unfortunately, they didn’t, and now they are in a dire situation.
Instead of talking about their exciting Week 1 victory or about their upcoming home opener against the New York Giants in Week 2, we’re talking about how unhappy Robinson is. It’s gotten so incredibly bad that his teammates are advocating for him. If this continues, the Bears could lose the team, and no amount of Matt Nagy inspirational speeches will save them.
The Bears have a history of waiting for the last minute before finally opening up their checkbooks for their players. It happened with running back Matt Forte, who had to continue to wait before he finally got a deal.
Forte certainly earned his deal. In the four years of his second contract, he amassed 4,369 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns and added 2,131 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. When it came time to negotiate another contract, it was evident that Forte didn’t want to deal with the Bears again. He ended up with the New York Jets. Neither the Bears’ rushing attack nor Forte was the same after he departed Chicago.
Now we see history repeat in Chicago. Chicago Tribune’s Bears beat writer Brad Biggs reported that Robinson asked for a trade. That came a few hours after Robinson deleted all mentions of the Chicago Bears from his Instagram account. That put Chicago Bears Nation in a tizzy.
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Later on, though, Robinson’s agent said that Robinson did not request a trade. While that calmed some, his agent added that Robinson was upset that he hasn’t received an extension yet.
Robinson saw how general manager Ryan Pace completed extensions for other Bears players right before the season. He extended Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair, Charles Leno, and Eddie Goldman right before they started the final season of their previous deals. Additionally, players around the league such as New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, received extensions before the season started.
Robinson is a leader on and off the field
As mentioned earlier, Robinson is the Bears’ best offensive player. Despite quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s struggles last season, Robinson finished the season with 1,147 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. He received 27 percent of the targets in 2019. The next one below him, running back Tarik Cohen, received 18 percent of the targets. The next receiver after Robinson was Anthony Miller, who received only 15 percent of the targets.
Robinson’s value also comes as a leader. He took Miller under his wing this offseason and explained to him how to run better routes and how to be a better professional. Miller was one of the biggest stars in training camp and he showed a big difference in Week 1. He led Bears receivers with 76 yards (Robinson finished second with 74) on six catches and made the game-winning touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter to cap the Bears’ comeback.
The lights were not too bright for him, not at all. You saw his first catch, right over the middle… He caught the ball, went to his knees and had enough recognition to get back up and try to run. You saw the moves he made on his second catch on the left on the spin route.
Mooney credits Robinson with helping him learn this offense. Also, he’s among the Bears players calling for Robinson to get his extension.
Whatever hopes the Chicago Bears have for the 2020 season may now lie in what happens with Robinson. With the chorus coming just from the team’s players, if the Bears don’t come up with a deal the season will certainly derail.