The Chicago Bears answered one of their biggest questions of the offseason — they placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Allen Robinson. That keeps him in Chicago, at least for the time being.
Well, for the Chicago Bears, the offseason is certainly heating up. After a couple of months of being linked to any quarterback, available or not, they hadn’t made any moves. That changed. Last week, they re-signed some of their own players and cut others, like cornerback Buster Skrine. They made even more moves this week. Earlier this week they cut ties with offensive tackle Bobby Massie.
Then they answered what was one of the biggest questions of their offseason. They announced that they placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Allen Robinson. It isn’t what Robinson wants (he wants a long-term deal), but it buys them some time to get a deal done later. What it does do is keep Robinson in the fold.
Robinson has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. Considering how bad the quarterback play was in those two seasons, that accomplishment is incredible. Add to his resume another 1,000-yard season with Blake Bortles when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars and it’s difficult to believe anyone doesn’t think he’s a true number one receiver.
Bears need Robinson on the team to attract a big name quarterback
Having Robinson on the roster is crucial if the Bears want to acquire a top-flight quarterback. With general manager Ryan Pace and head coach already on the hot seat, they are desperate to build a winning team quickly. Doing what he did with Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Nick Foles, and Tyler Bray as his quarterbacks makes a quarterback like Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson take notice. If he did that with that list of quarterbacks throwing to him, imagine what a top-flight quarterback can accomplish.
With the franchise tag, Watson and Wilson, two of the top quarterbacks in the league rumored to be interested in Chicago, know they have a true number one receiving target.
Wilson already likes the idea of playing for the Bears. He listed Chicago as one of the four teams for whom he’d accept a trade. The other teams were the Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, and New Orleans Saints. Dallas just announced a huge deal for Dak Prescott so that eliminates them. That, and keeping Robinson, makes the Bears more attractive.
Will Robinson stay in Chicago?
After the Chicago Bears cut negotiations early in the 2020 season, many people felt that Robinson would likely leave. He has the option of not signing the franchise tag but that isn’t something that will work for him. There is also speculation that this could be a sign-and-trade kind of move. If Pace truly wants to build a winning team he needs to keep Robinson and get a deal done later. You don’t want him to use Robinson as bait, get a top-notch quarterback, then take his best target away. That isn’t a good way to welcome the new face of the franchise.
Both sides can negotiate a deal this season. The problem for the Bears is the salary cap. They are in salary cap hell right now with the lower cap this season. The cap will increase next season so they can get a deal done for 2022.
On the other hand, if they can get a deal done before the new season starts, the team could improve their cap situation. The Cowboys actually lowered the cap hit by signing Prescott and not tagging him. In any case, expect Robinson to stay in Chicago. That is a win-win for both sides. If his place on the roster attracts Watson or Wilson, then the fans become the biggest winners.