Allen Robinson’s extension has been on our minds for a hot minute.
In December, Robinson mentioned that he was “definitely” interested in an extension with the Bears. In February, GM Ryan Pace confirmed the team had internal conversations regarding an extension for Robinson. And in April, Robinson again expressed interest in staying in Chicago, which led us to discuss what a long-term deal could possibly look like for the Bears’ best offensive player. Keeping Robinson in the fold has should have been a priority for the Bears. But no deal has been done yet. What gives?
Well, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune shares an explanation in a response to a fan’s question in his mailbag, cautioning fans to back off the ledge for the moment.
“There’s a lot of time for this to play out and no reason to panic,” Biggs writes. “Keep in mind, the Bears would have the franchise tag at their disposal if they can’t reach an agreement with Robinson before next March. From Robinson’s standpoint, I don’t believe he should be in a rush to do a deal. He’s looking to maximize his earning potential, not enter into a hurried agreement when he has leverage as the team’s only consistent offensive performer the last two seasons.”
You can check out the rest of Biggs’ mailbag below:
– Could Matt Nagy eventually create a Taysom Hill-like role for Mitch Trubisky?
– Questions on a few Day 3 QB prospects.
– Does arrival of Jimmy Graham mean drafting Cole Kmet is unlikely?
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 15, 2020
The Bears and Robinson could have rushed to a deal earlier in the offseason. Doing so would have created some cap flexibility for the short-term, while bringing Robinson some contract security and rewarding him for a job well-done in his first two years in Chicago. But the Bears traveled different avenues to open cap space. As for Robinson’s point of view he was smart to wait out the ironing out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement before going too far down the road in extension talks. There was no incentive for Robinson to rush into a deal that wasn’t right for him.
In the end, as long as both sides are interested in an extension, there isn’t a pressing need to get one done right away. And I think both sides are OK with that.
And it’s not as if the Bears can’t come to extensions at a later date. Pace has worked on (and completed!) multi-year deals with Charles Leno Jr., Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, and Cody Whitehair that came as late as days before the start of the regular season. Doing it again with Robinson wouldn’t be something new for Pace and this front office. As for the worst-case scenario, using the Franchise tag would still keep Robinson in the mix, albeit on a year-to-year plan.
Given that perspective from Biggs and what we know about how the front office has operated in the past, I can understand both points of view as to why a deal isn’t done yet. It’s just that my preference is to extend the good players on your team as soon as possible.