Star wide receiver Allen Robinson removed mentions of the Chicago Bears from his Twitter and Instagram accounts Tuesday, presumably because he’s frustrated at a lack of progress toward a contract extension.
How far apart the sides are in negotiations on a new contract is unknown, but it’s highly unlikely Robinson would inquire about the possibility of being traded if they were anywhere near an agreement.
Robinson is in the final year of a three-year, $42 million contract, and typically the Bears have been able to complete extensions for their top players before they begin a contract year. Despite that precedent for avoiding in-season negotiations, general manager Ryan Pace said last week he wasn’t opposed to continuing to work toward a deal.
Teammates have taken up Robinson’s cause, with running back Tarik Cohen tweeting “#ExtendAR” on Tuesday, which rookie wide receiver Darnell Mooney quickly retweeted.
“We know how important A-Rob is to us not just as a player but as a teammate,” Pace said Sept. 7. “But those things are going to remain behind the scene as we work through the process.”
It seems unlikely the Bears would entertain the idea of dealing Robinson, who had a team-high five receptions for 74 yards in Sunday’s season-opening 27-23 victory in Detroit. He has been their most consistent offensive player since arriving in 2018, and his presence, even when he’s not targeted, opens coverage for others.
However, Robinson would have no problem finding at least a few teams willing to discuss contract parameters in a trade-and-sign deal if the Bears were to grant permission.
Robinson was a driving force behind player workouts over the summer before training camp, the organization has supported his philanthropic efforts and he remained upbeat about the performance of quarterback Mitch Trubisky last year even as the offense was mired in a season-long slump.
As bad as the Bears were in 2019, Robinson produced 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns. He maintained all preseason that his focus was on the field and not the business side.
The franchise tag for wide receivers will be about $18 million in 2021, and the market for the position has taken off since Robinson arrived from Jacksonville via free agency. His career statistics resemble those of the Los Angeles Chargers’ Keenan Allen, who recently signed a four-year extension averaging more than $20 million per season. Amari Cooper is earning $20 million per season for the Dallas Cowboys, and DeAndre Hopkins just got a two-year extension with the Arizona Cardinals averaging $27.25 million.
It’s advantageous for the Bears to do a multiyear contract with Robinson in order to manipulate the numbers and reduce the salary-cap hit next season, when the cap will be significantly affected by the drop in revenue this year. It’s advantageous for Robinson to have a deal done because it eliminates the risk he takes of staying healthy on a weekly basis.
With the sides apparently nowhere near finding the common ground needed to make a deal happen, it leads us to where we are now — with Robinson leaving the Bears out of his social medi