The Jacksonville Jaguars’ decision to not place the franchise (or transition) tag on Allen Robinson has opened up a world of possibilities for the Chicago Bears, who might be making the talented wide receiver their top priority in free agency.
In his latest Q&A mailbag, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offers up a possible nugget in the Bears’ pursuit of a top pass-catching target for an optimistic Mitch Trubisky to throw to in 2018.
“It will be interesting to see what happens with (Jarvis) Landry,” Biggs writes. “But I think the Bears would prefer Allen Robinson if they can get in the running for the Jaguars wide receiver.”
Well, then. That’s something that should catch all of our attention. Especially knowing the Bears have something of a secret weapon in the recruiting process.
It seems like Biggs thinks Robinson should be the receiver option who should garner the most attention from the Bears this offseason – especially if he returns healthy from the ACL injury that caused him to miss all but three offensive snaps in 2017. In his last healthy season, Robinson caught 73 passes for 883 yards and six touchdowns. While that was a step back from his Pro Bowl showing in 2015 (80 catches, 1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns) it was still better than what any Bears wideout posted in 2017. That Robinson’s numbers were that good while Blake Bortles completed just 58.9 percent of his passes is a testament to the wide receiver’s talent.
Because a healthy Robinson would present a viable deep threat for an offense that could certainly use it, there is a distinct possibility that the other receivers on the offense would be that much better too.
Perhaps fellow free agent Albert Wilson joins Chicago and has a breakout season in the slot when the underneath routes are open, because defenses are rolling their coverage to give Robinson extra attention. That could also be a boon for Cameron Meredith lining up on the other side of the field.
Meredith, who is coming off an ACL injury of his own, also had a breakout season in 2016. Even though we have never seen Meredith as a No. 1 receiver option for a full season, we’ve seen enough reps while he was second-banana to Alshon Jeffery to know he is a capable WR2. Now, imagine what his production would look like with various pass-catching threats opposing defenses would have to account for when they took the field in 2018 (Michael: And then think about all the space created for Mitch Trubisky, Jordan Howard, and Tarik Cohen. Oh baby).
The vibe has always been that GM Ryan Pace would leave no stone unturned in his hunt for receiver help, but it appears as if we now have a better idea of who will be targeted once free agency begins in six days. Buckle up, Bears fans. It’s about to get interesting.