There are reports that the Chicago Bears are willing to use the franchise tag on wide receiver Allen Robinson. While he might not like it, this is an important move to make if the team wants to win more games in 2021.
After two consecutive seasons ending in a record of 8-8, the Chicago Bears need to make some moves to improve its roster. They’ve been involved in rumors that deal with any available (or unavailable) quarterback imaginable, as they should. It appears that Mitch Trubisky has no intention of coming back to Chicago. Also, there appears to be no intention on the part of the Bears in bringing him back. Because of that, they need to find a quarterback who fits head coach Matt Nagy’s system.
Team owner George McCaskey gave general manager Ryan Pace another (hopefully final) chance to turn things around. Yes, Chicago appeared in two playoffs in three seasons, but they had first round exits in both. Additionally, Chicago made the playoffs this season because an additional team was allowed into the playoffs due to the pandemic. Even with that, they ended up backing into the playoffs and looked utterly undeserving of being there.
With the “win now” attitude Pace has, he needs to build a winner quickly. The right quarterback does that. Before he acquires that quarterback, however, the offense needs to look attractive. If the Bears don’t trade for a quarterback, they need to sign a free agent. If the offense isn’t attractive, though, what quarterback decides to go to Chicago?
A number one receiver helps attract a good quarterback
A quarterback needs to have good receivers around him in order to succeed. That quarterback needs a number one receiver who he trusts will make the big catches. The Bears had that receiver in Allen Robinson.
Robinson just had consecutive seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards. He did that despite having struggling signal callers throwing to him. In fact, Robinson had bad quarterbacks around him his entire career. In college, he had Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg. The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him and they had Blake Bortles. He went to Chicago as a free agent and had Trubisky, David Fales, Chase Daniel, and Nick Foles. That is a list of bad quarterbacks, yet he’s had three seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and a season with 14 touchdown catches.
Imagine his play with a really good quarterback. Imagine a good free agent quarterback who knows he’ll throw passes to Robinson. Even if the Bears decide to trade for one, that quarterback will want to play with Robinson on his side. Yes, acquiring Deshaun Watson is a pipe dream, but if there is an actual deal on the table, he could veto it. He won’t do it if he’s throwing to Robinson. Look at what he did with DeAndre Hopkins. If he can have a similar rapport with Robinson, he’ll jump at the chance to have Robinson as a teammate.
Will the Bears keep Robinson?
The Chicago Bears ended contract talks with Robinson early in the 2020 season. That surprised and angered Robinson. It also sent fans into a frenzy. Robinson had the bulk of targets by a wide margin. What happens if he leaves?
Things looked as if Robinson was on his way out of Chicago. He says the right things, like “everything is on the table” so that is great. However, he also said both sides had plenty of time to get something done.
Now comes a report that the Bears turn around and use the franchise tag. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that Chicago is ready to use it.
The sides could not get a long-term deal worked out as they negotiated into the season, but sources said the Bears are prepared to tag him in an effort to continue that process. He is a vital cog on an offense that remains under great duress with coaching and management jobs on the line. Even with a murky QB situation, securing their best weapon in the pass game is imperative.
They can tag him and he’ll have a nice payday for 2021. The problem is that it’s only for one season. Robinson wants a multi-year deal. Would the franchise tag anger him?
The tag could be something that helps the sides get some extra time to negotiate a long-term deal done. It’s a necessary evil to use when there is an impasse like this. It’s good to see that the Bears likely won’t revert to the old ways when they don’t use the tag and end up losing an important part of the team. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep a great player like Robinson.