Allen Robinson II Rumors: Evaluating Buzz on Bears Franchise Tag, WR's Future

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (12) runs a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

While NFL free agency won't officially kick off until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the early stages of the open market have already begun. With the early contact period open, teams and players have moved quickly to put together verbal agreements.

Unfortunately, this hasn't been an option for Chicago Bears wideout Allen Robinson II. If the 27-year-old is going to find his way to another team, it'll be via a trade. This is by Chicago's design, of course, as the Bears handed the receiver the franchise tag for the 2021 season.

Robinson probably isn't as thrilled with the situation.

"The Bears don't want to lose their best player on offense. He would like to become a free agent, he would like to see what's out there," ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Get Up (h/t Bleacher Report's Tyler Conway).

While Robinson hasn't threatened to hold out as Deshaun Watson has with the Houston Texans, he won't be eager to play on a one-year deal for Chicago this season.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler recently told SportsCenter (h/t Conway):

"Allen Robinson, I'm told, has zero plans to sign his franchise tag in the immediate future. So considering their contract negotiations in the fall did not go well, this could drag out a long while where Robinson doesn't show up, doesn't sign that tag. Because when they talked in the past, the Bears made clear they have no plans to give him that top dollar at wide receiver."

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean the Penn State product will be stuck in Chicago this season. A tag-and-trade scenario could present itself; if it does, the Bears would be apt to act on it.

Chicago's top priority this offseason is to make a run at Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

"The thinking among multiple sources is the Bears have prioritized making a run at Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson," he wrote.

Theoretically, Robinson could either be included as part of a trade package for Wilson or flipped for draft capital that could then be included in said package. Moving the Detroit native could also help the Bears come up with the cap space to absorb Wilson's contract—Chicago is currently $2.9 million over the cap.

Robinson would have to first sign his franchise tender to facilitate a trade, but he appears open to all possibilities that result in him landing a lucrative long-term contract.

"At this point, I'd pretty much be open to everything on the table," he told SiriusXM NFL Radio.

So, while there hasn't been a ton of trade buzz surrounding Robinson to this point, the situation could change quickly. A lot will hinge on Wilson's situation and how adamant Robinson becomes about not playing on the franchise tag.