When the 2019 season ended, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the Chicago Bears would give their stud wide out, Allen Robinson, a contract extension. He was about to enter the third and final year of the three year, $42 million deal he signed in 2018, and he has proven to have come all the way back from the ACL tear he suffered in 2017.
He’s not only the Bears number one receiver, but his leadership and work ethic in the locker room and his charitable efforts off the field point to the soon to be 27-year old being a Bear for life.
But then the pandemic happened and the offseason was thrown out of wack. Teams had more pressing concerns to navigate through, and uncertainty surrounding the salary cap both this year and in the future could have caused the Bears to pump the breaks on the extension.
“I’m not really too focused on that right now,” Robinson said on Friday about his contract being re-worked. “My main focus is on camp. We have a game in about a month. So not having OTAs, starting a little bit slower with training camp and stuff like that, my main focus is being ready for Week 1 and whatever happens with that happens.”
If an extension does happen, it’s likely it happens in the next few weeks, before week one, because that’s how the Bears have handled things under Ryan Pace.
"Sept. 3, 2016— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) August 14, 2020
Aug. 23, 2017
Sept. 9, 2017
Sept. 7, 2018
Sept. 1, 2019
Those are the dates that general manager Ryan Pace handed out long-term contract extensions to Kyle Long, Charles Leno Jr., Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman and Cody Whitehair, respectively." https://t.co/Y9Xkc3JCWj
There’s no doubt that Robinson deserves a new deal. There’s also no doubt that Robinson staying on the Bears is a positive for the team and for whichever quarterback leads this team in the next several years.
But the Bears still need to make sure all their financials line up for the future of the franchise. They do claim however, that even with the salary cap reportedly dropping in 2021, it’ll still be business as usual for the team.
“I just have a lot of confidence in (Bears lead negotiator) Joey Laine and myself and how we’re forecasting and how we’re predicting for the future,” Pace said in July. “I’m confident we’ll work through it. It’s not going to prevent us from doing the things that we want to do.”
It just makes too much sense from a team perspective to bring back their best and most reliable offensive weapon, and that fact isn’t lost on Pace.
“We know how good of a player Allen Robinson is and we know how important he is to our team, Pace said on The Athletic’s Hoge and Jahns Podcast, “Not just a great player but a great teammate, a huge part of our culture. So we recognize that. Sometimes there’s a lot of factors that go into play as we work through these things. We just keep those things behind the scenes and I think it’s just better for the process. But we appreciate A-Rob; we recognize the talent that he is and the person that he is.”
Robinson can line up out wide or in the slot, and he can get deep or work an underneath zone to move the sticks. He’s the total package at his position and a real leader in the wide receiver room.
If both sides truly want to get an extension done, then one will get done, but we’ll find out how serious each side is in the next few weeks.