Well , the season is officially over now for the Chicago Bears after a Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday and now the questions and off-season moves surrounding franchise are going to begin. One off-season question (which was also sort of an in-season question), is what to do with the #1 wide receiver Allen Robinson?
The simple answer is keep him on the team no matter what. During his availability Monday morning, he had some comments that don’t make anything much clearer…
Bears WR Allen Robinson (free agent) said repeatedly this morning that everything is on the table in terms of his future but added in regards to the Bears, "I personally feel like we had an opportunity to be able to get something done over the past 365 days."
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) January 11, 2021
Allen Robinson asked about the potential of getting tagged, declines to get into it. When asked a follow-up by @patrickfinley about if it's safe to say he's not a fan of the franchise tag, Robinson chuckles and says: "I plead the fifth on that."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) January 11, 2021
Robinson has been in Chicago for the last three years after signing in free agency during the 2018 offseason. He had a pretty good season coming back from a torn ACL in 2018, but the last two seasons are where he has really stuck out and his impact on this team can’t go unnoticed.
In 2019, Robinson finished with 1147 rec. yards, which accounted for 32.1% of the team’s passing yardage. In 2020, he finished with 1250 rec. yards, which accounted for 31.8% of the team’s passing yardage. Just for a comparison that hits close to home for Bears fans, Davante Adams finished the year with a 31.9% yardage share and he’s arguably the best WR in the league, although he did miss a few games. Regardless of Adams’ numbers, Robinson has accounted for a huge amount of the passing yardage the past two years and that’s a lot to replace should he leave.
He’s also just flat out a top receiver in the league. He finished 2020 6th in receptions and 9th in yardage. Imagine if he had a good coaching staff and competent QB?
Yardage share is one thing, but the Bears also need to consider who else is on the roster and the fact that they more or less might have a completely different receiving core next year. Aside from Mooney, there really isn’t anyone else worth keeping on this roster.
- Anthony Miller might not be on the team next year after getting ejected in the Wild Card game when he was going to have to step up with Mooney out. The Bears even specifically focused on this in practice last week. The focus just isn’t there. Pair that with inconsistent route running, penalties, other ejections, drops, and injuries… it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to keep the guy on the team.
- Javon Wims probably should have already been gone after punching Gardner-Johnson earlier in the season, but with limited playing time and a catastrophic drop in the end zone in the Wild Card game, he’ll be as good as gone this off-season.
- Riley Ridley plays sporadically, but he’s more often a healthy scratch than active. They might keep him around due to his current contract, but it’s not like he can replace Robinson if he leaves or play alongside Mooney.
- Cordarrelle Patterson is a free agent now, but even if they bring him back, he’s not an every day WR.
Should the Bears bring back Robinson? Of course. Absolutely. Without a doubt. But I think the bigger question is… Does he even WANT to come back? Why would he? I wouldn’t blame him if he decided to look elsewhere, and I think that’s what he’ll do. Unless there are some serious changes made, mainly the QB satiation and whatever the hell it is the Bears claim to be doing on offense, this team won’t include A-Rob next year. I’d be shocked if he wanted to deal with this circus, especially after (seemingly) low-balling him when they were negotiating at the beginning of the season. Which goes back to that whole question of cap space and what the Bears can even offer the guy.
If A-Rob ends up on another team, it won’t be because Bears fans don’t love the guy. That’s for sure. This will be a gigantic hole to fill. Add it to the growing list of holes this team has.
It’s gonna be a long off-season, folks.