The CBA Better Not Throw a Wrench into Bears' Plan to Extend Allen Robinson

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The CBA Better Not Throw a Wrench into Bears’ Plan to Extend Allen Robinson

Chicago Bears

Back in December, Bears receiver Allen Robinson expressed a desire to come to a contract extension with the team.

A month later, Robinson still wants that extension. But it doesn’t seem as if the two sides are any closer to ironing out a deal. Still, the want is there. And that counts for something … right?

The latest from WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge:

Good news: Robinson still wants to be a #Bear4Life. Wonderful!

The bad news: Robinson’s phrasing “there’s a lot that goes into getting an extension done” feels at least a little ominous. And in a story written by Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the complications don’t appear to be something Robinson or the Bears can control.

“Thought he leaves such strategy to his agent,” Finley writes. “Robinson acknowledged it would be beneficial if the NFL and the NFLPA were to reach a collective-bargaining agreement before the start of the league year.”

When Robinson signed his first contract with the Bears back in 2018, I did not think it was a coincidence the final year of the deal lined up with the last year of the current CBA, which is up after the 2020 season. It was a bold strategy for Robinson and his representation to line things up to cash in with a second big contract during his prime years when a new CBA – presumably with an increased salary cap – was put into place. Unfortunately, the lack of a deal could force both sides to drag their feet in negotiations. That’s not ideal when we’re talking about a player as important as Robinson is to the Bears and their offense.

Robinson, 26, led the team in targets (154), catches (98), receiving yards (1,147), touchdown receptions (7), and plays that made Bears fans thankful their team’s front office made a wise investment on the free agent market (too many to count). He also does wonderful charitable work off the field, earning the team’s nomination for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for 2019 — which certainly is a point in his favor.

In the end, Robinson loves Chicago. Chicago should want Robinson to stay where he is as the top pass-catching option in Matt Nagy’s offense. So an extension has to be coming down the pipeline at some point, right? My gut leans toward both sides coming through on a deal, though both sides might need to exercise some patience before diving in. And it’s not as if GM Ryan Pace isn’t used to coming to a summertime deal. Charles Leno Jr., Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, and Cody Whitehair stand out as players who were handed extensions in the summer leading into the final years of their respective deals. And in the case of Hicks, Goldman, and Whitehair, deals that came together ahead of the team’s season-opening game. So, in the grand scheme of things, there are more reasons to be optimistic about something getting done than there are to be pessimistic and fearful that one won’t get reached.

The Bears already locked in Eddie Jackson to an extension that pays him at the top of the market, so it’s not as if Pace isn’t working on this front. In the end, the last thing the Bears need is to lose their best receiver during the prime of his career. Let’s get a deal done, gang.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.