Tuesday is a very important day in the NFL offseason as it is the deadline for teams to slap the franchise tag on players – teams can only use that tag on one player. As of now, the lone player around the league who has been slapped with the tag officially is Denver Broncos Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons, but there will be plenty more as clubs always wait until the last minute in hopes of reaching a long-term deal with said player. Which bring us to Chicago Bears receiver Allen Robinson.
Listening to embattled GM Ryan Pace this offseason, it sounds like fait accompli that Robinson will be tagged because the Bears don't want to give him a long-term contract at around four years and $80 million or so (Keenan Allen money).
"We have a ton of respect for Allen," Pace said last week. "We have to do what's best for the Bears too. We consider everything. … No firm decision on that yet, but we know we have it at our disposal. … We want to keep our good players and Allen is a good player for us."
Using the franchise tag would pay Robinson $18 million for one season. A-Rob has made it clear that he will not be happy if tagged, but about the only leverage he would have is potentially sitting out next season like Le'Veon Bell did a few years ago in Pittsburgh.
Despite generally awful quarterback play from Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, Robinson caught 102 passes for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. Bears QBs had a 90.1 passer rating when targeting him and he dropped just one pass.
Chicago and Robinson, who will be 28 in August, would have until mid-July to work out a long-term extension, and there's the possibility the Bears could tag and trade Robinson. The transition tag is also an option. With that, it would allow Robinson to receive contract offers from around the league and for the Bears to match.
If Robinson does play in the Windy City in 2021, who will his quarterback be? Almost surely not Trubisky, although Pace wouldn't rule out re-signing him – Bears fans would literally riot if that were the case. The team has "prioritized" trading for Seattle's Russell Wilson and Wilson has indicated he would love to play in Chicago, but the Bears simply don't have enough assets to interest Seattle.
Peter King wrote today in his weekly Football Morning in America column that the Bears landing Wilson "seems like a futile pipe dream." The likes of Khalil Mack, Foles, the No. 20 overall pick in this year's draft and the Bears' first-rounder next year isn't going to interest Seattle GM John Schneider, King notes.
Wilson also has indicated he would be open to a trade to the Saints, Raiders and Cowboys as well. Dallas is expected to slap the franchise tag on QB Dak Prescott by Tuesday's deadline and could in theory trade him for Wilson. That would break the internet! Las Vegas could build something around QB Derek Carr and draft picks. It's tough to see the Saints making anything work because they don't have a QB to offer in any trade.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Allen Robinson be a member of the Bears Week 1 of the 2021 season?
- Yes -550
- No +450
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