Despite being tagged by the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Allen Robinson can still work out a new deal to his liking. He can look to Dak Prescott‘s patience as an example of using patience to win in the long-term.
Things are in full swing for the Chicago Bears. They started making moves to clear space and improve their roster. Their biggest move to date is placing the franchise tag on star receiver Allen Robinson. That move keeps him in Chicago for at least another year. That is unless the team decides to trade him. That seems unlikely, however. They are trying to acquire a big name quarterback like Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. Despite struggling quarterback play, he just had back-to-back 1,000 receiving yard seasons. If they lose Robinson, their top receiver in the offense, acquiring a top-notch quarterback becomes more difficult.
Like every other player who receives the franchise tag, Robinson doesn’t like it. It is a necessary evil, though. The tag gives both sides more time (the deadline is July 15th) to negotiate a long-term deal. They can do that without having Robinson hit free agency and possibly leave Chicago. In the meantime, he does receive a nice $18 million one-year contract.
Robinson can look to Prescott as an example
Robinson may not like the franchise tag, but if he stays patient things could work out for him. He need not look any further than Dak Prescott and his dealings with the Dallas Cowboys. NBC Sports Chicago Bears Insider Adam Hoge wrote about it recently.
Prescott and his agent had a dollar amount and a number of years they felt he was worth. Both stood firm, forcing Dallas to franchise him last year. Despite suffering a horrible ankle injury that cut short his season, Prescott ended up getting what he wanted and signed a four-year, $160 million deal with $126 million guaranteed.
Some might say that Prescott is a quarterback so he had more leverage in his talks with the Cowboys than Robinson has with the Bears. However, Robinson has leverage as well. First, he is the top receiver in the offense. Of all the pass targets in 2020, he received 24.5 percent of them. The next receiver on the list was rookie Darnell Mooney, who received just 16 percent of the targets. Things are thin on the wide receivers corps if you take out Robinson.
That leads to his place on the roster attracting a quarterback. Yes, Mooney was a great addition to the offense in 2020. He is a supplement to Robinson, though. If Robinson isn’t on the roster, the receiving crew looks distinctly different.
A third way Robinson has leverage is how a new deal affects the Bears’ salary cap situation. With the lower salary cap in 2021 (with the 2020 carryover the Bears’ adjusted salary cap is $190 million) the Bears need to do anything they can to create more space.
At the moment, Robinson’s cap hit is the full $18 million salary. If both sides agree to a new deal, converting a big chunk of the salary into a signing bonus lowers the cap hit, giving the team more money to spend elsewhere.
Now that the Bears tagged Robinson, they can go out and try to acquire Watson or Wilson. He succeeded with subpar quarterbacks so imagine what he’ll do with a star quarterback.
Robinson can look at Prescott and know he can win.