The Chicago Bears have big decisions to make this offseason. If Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy want to keep their jobs Allen Robinson needs to stay in town.
Now that the Super Bowl is over we turn our attention to what the offseason holds for the Chicago Bears. Yes, they made the playoffs this season. That only happened, however, because of a special rule allowing seven teams in each conference to get in instead of six. For the second consecutive season, they finished the season 8-8.
Many expected general manager Ryan Pace and/or head coach Matt Nagy to lose their jobs after their first-round exit. Instead, both of them survived. Team owner George McCaskey basically gave them one more chance to fix the mess that is the Chicago Bears offense.
Now, with a “win now” attitude, Pace is desperate to finally hit on the quarterback position. He had eight chances in David Fales, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon. Mitch Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray, and Nick Foles. McCaskey apparently feels that the ninth time is the charm.
With that desperation, it seems like the Bears are in on just about any quarterback available. Pace was reportedly in on Matthew Stafford before the Detroit Lions traded him to the Los Angeles Rams. He called the Houston Texans to inquire on Deshaun Watson. There are reports that linked them to Sam Darnold.
Now, though, it appears Pace is in deep conversation with the Philadelphia Eagles on a blockbuster trade for Carson Wentz.
There is one piece to the offense the Bears need to save jobs
The Bears can make moves for the quarterback they feel can win, but there is one player the offense desperately needs to come back — wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Robinson is the Bears’ number one receiver and has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He became only the fifth Chicago Bears wide receiver to achieve that feat. In his three seasons with the Bears, he has 255 catches for 3,151 yards and 17 touchdowns. The catches and yards are more than he had with the Jacksonville Jaguars in four seasons (202 catches, 2,848 yards).
Despite not having a dependable quarterback, Robinson has been a dependable receiver. In the last three seasons, he is among the leaders in the fewest drops. He’s been the go-to target for Bears quarterbacks. He was targeted 23.4 percent of the time, far and away more than any other receiver.
For the Bears to succeed and save Pace’s and Nagy’s jobs, Robinson needs to come back. For whichever quarterback comes back who comes to Chicago to succeed, Robinson needs to be there.
The Bears’ receivers corps is thin. After Robinson, rookie Darnell Mooney had a good season. He eventually moved past Anthony Miller as the number two receiver. Now, with Miller’s inexcusable boneheaded move to get ejected from this year’s playoff game despite the Bears already being shorthanded, it appears as if he won’t return. After his rookie season in 2018, he’s had disappointing seasons. Add the ejection and his days in Chicago are likely over.
Javon Wims hasn’t accomplished much in his time in Chicago. The same for Riley Ridley, who has trouble just being active on game days. The Bears need an overhaul at receiver but they have a bona fide number one and one of the top receivers in the league and need to keep him.
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After breakdowns in negotiations, will the Bears bring Robinson back?
The Bears and Robinson were in negotiations on a new contract but the team cut off talks two weeks into the new season. Robinson was upset and wiped any mention of the Bears from his social media feeds. There have been no new negotiations since.
After the season ended, Robinson stated that “everything is on the table” in terms of a deal. However, he did add this nugget:
I personally feel like we had an opportunity to be able to get something done over the past 365 days.
The Bears do have the franchise tag to use. They could use it to give both parties a chance to work out a long-term deal later. This is something that Robinson, like all players, don’t like having. If it buys some time, however, it could work out in the end.
The Bears recently posted on their Twitter feed something that raised fans’ hope for a Robinson return. Just a few hours before this article ran, the team ran a video with the caption “We can’t wait”. It included current key players needed for the Bears to succeed. The video included Robinson. That could mean that Robinson is in the front office’s plans for 2021.
We can’t wait. ????⬇️ pic.twitter.com/yp9NJJPV8o
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 8, 2021
The Bears need to do whatever they can to bring Robinson back. If it means they use the franchise tag then so be it. Robinson is an integral part of the offense. Look at what he did without a quality quarterback. If Pace does indeed find his quarterback, imagine how much better Robinson could end up being.