It appears as though Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson is down to two options: Play the 2021 season under the $17.8 million franchise tag or hold out.
According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Bears and Robinson "are not expected to reach a long-term extension."
On Sunday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler predicted during an appearance on SportsCenter that Robinson would play out this season on the tag (h/t Alex Seats of 247Sports.com):
“Talks have been pretty slow. There’s a decent chance he plays this year out on the tag, They’re going to leave the door open for talks in the final days and hours and sort of hope for the best, but there simply has not been much momentum. I’m told Robinson is ready to try to put up big numbers this year and try to smash free agency in 2022. He’s only 27 years old going on a third contract.”
Robinson had a fantastic 2020 season for the Bears, catching 102 passes for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns. It was his second straight season with at least 95 receptions and 1,100 receiving yards.
It's a bit confusing why Chicago, with a young rookie quarterback in Justin Fields, wouldn't want to lock up a productive receiver like Robinson for the long term. Barring Robinson wanting to be paid like a top-five talent at the position, it seems a misstep by the Bears.
Jacob Infante @jacobinfante24
Can't say I'm surprised that the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bears</a> aren't expected to sign Allen Robinson before the franchise tag deadline.<br><br>There's been a huge disconnect between both sides from the beginning. Chicago isn't willing to pay ARob what he believes he's worth, which is rough, IMO.
The Bears aren't exactly brimming with playmakers for either Fields or Andy Dalton, depending on who emerges as the starter. Losing Robinson as a free agent next offseason—it's hard to imagine the Bears would tag him a second straight time, given how much the tag increases on a second usage—would leave them further devoid of difference-makers.