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10 Most Important Bears of 2021: #8 Allen Robinson

For the 13th straight year I’m bringing you who I believe will be the ten most important Bears for the upcoming season, and Chicago’s number one wide receiver, Allen Robinson, is number 8 on my list.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears fans may only have one more year of Allen Robinson to enjoy in the Windy City, and if so, that is inexcusable. His initial Bears contract expired after the 2020 season and general manager Ryan Pace elected to slap him with the franchise tag, which is often used to buy time to get a long term deal done, but every report that has leaked this offseason still has the two sides far apart.

When the Bears signed Robinson three years ago coming off an ACL injury, his deal was set up in order to give him another shot at a big free agent contract at just 27-years old if he performed... which he did. A-Rob has looked every part of a number one NFL receiver the last two years with 200 receptions and 2,397 receiving yards, and he’s done it with less than average QB play.

The tag gives him nearly $18 million for the 2021 season, but A-Rob is looking for the long term security that comes with a fat guarantee. Amari Cooper has $60 million guaranteed, Mike Evans’ deal netted him $55 million in guarantees, Keenan Allen has $43 million, and Kenny Golladay just got $40 million.

With Robinson playing for a huge contract after this season — whether with the Bears or another team — he’s going to bring that Alpha presence to the offense in 2021.

Regardless if it’s Andy Dalton or Justin Fields slinging the ball, Robinson is the most established weapon in their passing game, and even though the Bears made a point to upgrade the depth behind him, he’s irreplaceable. And that’s why he’s checking in at number eight on my Top Ten Most Important Bears list

The last couple years defenses have game planned knowing he was the primary option on most passing plays, and his route running still got him open for the football more often than not. Only DeAndre Hopkins was targeted more the last two seasons than Robinson was (310 to 305), and I expect him to be Chicago’s most targeted wide out again.

Robinson is a team leader, he’s willing to help the younger guys in their receiver room, and he always carries himself like a true professional. I still think there’s a chance the Bears and A-Rob come to an agreement either before the July 15 deadline, or next offseason (after he and Fields make a connection), but regardless I’ll be sure to appreciate his play in 2020.