You know the primary context here: Allen Robinson has been a revelation for the Chicago Bears, who nevertheless have yet to sign him to an extension here in his walk year. It sucks. We aren’t happy about it. And now Robinson is lightly suggesting via social media that he’s not happy about it either.
If you peruse Robinson’s Instagram and Twitter today, you’re gonna notice that he did some deleting:
Allen Robinson has taken the Chicago Bears out of his bio and has since deleted all of his ‘Bears’ photos on his Instagram. pic.twitter.com/UC9oiLlIAh
— Dave (@runbackdave) September 15, 2020
You’re also gonna notice that he sent a reply to a now-deleted tweet (incorrectly) saying Bears receivers had a ton of drops on Sunday, with Robinson (correctly) chapped about any suggestion that a couple incompletions on Sunday were his fault:
My shit ain’t no drop, either of em
— Allen Robinson II (@AllenRobinson) September 15, 2020
Add that stuff together, and voila, you’re gonna have people start the quick speculation about whether a trade is in Robinson’s future, since an extension ain’t looking good. Here’s one that just came out from PFF:
Ryan Pace and Bill Belichick have been trade partners for years, dating all the way back to the Martellus Bennett trade. The Bears also moved up for both Anthony Miller and David Montgomery via a Patriots draft pick
Is Allen Robinson next?https://t.co/Oq8Orqabht
— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) September 15, 2020
Obviously there’s an extensive trade history there between the teams, and the Patriots clearly have a need for a like Robinson to pair with Julian Edelman, so I can understand the connection at a superficial level. Heck, most teams would be improved by adding a top 10 wide receiver. Just sayin’.
But are the Bears, in the next few weeks, really going to offload their top receiver from an offense that absolutely needs every weapon it’s got in order to make headway with the current quarterback situation (and I mean Mitchell Trubisky OR Nick Foles)? And are they going to do so knowing that they could’ve used the franchise tag to keep Robinson around for 2021 even if no extension can be reached?
Moreover, even the Bears were gonna consider this, you’ve gotta get more than a second rounder to even START to think about it. I mean, hell, Robinson nets you a third rounder in the compensatory formula if he were to walk after this year. So I’ll just cut you off right now: get outta here if you start talking about a deal for a single second rounder. Ridiculous. And this? This makes me laugh:
If Allen Robinson is available – and I was in charge of the Washington Football Team – I'd be offering that extra 3rd rounder from the Trent trade to Chicago. Yesterday
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) September 15, 2020
But in recent years, while the Brandin Cooks and Amari Cooper trades netted first rounders, those two came in deals before their fifth year option. A back-end first rounder is a whole lot to give up for slightly less than a single season of even a top wide receiver like Robinson, plus the right to tag him.
So do multiple seconds or a second and a third, or some other creative combination shy of a first rounder really get you excited about the possibility of moving Robinson rather than keeping him, tagging him if necessary, and trying to work something out? I love draft capital, and the Bears have had precious little of it in recent years, but I get really nervous about the offense this year and on into next year (perhaps with a new, young quarterback?) without a top wideout like Robinson.
If I’m devil’s advocating, I guess I could say that having Robinson was a huge crutch for Trubisky, who frequently locked on and fired into a very well-covered Robinson, who then often bailed Trubisky out. Maybe that’s not great for the development of a young quarterback. Look: I’m stretching. That’s how much I don’t love the idea of trading Robinson unless you’re getting a silly, no-brainer haul (and I don’t think you’re gonna get that from the Patriots).
The other consideration, I suppose, is on the salary cap, where the Bears have a lot of recently-backloaded deals on the defensive side that’re gonna threaten to make things tight in 2021 and beyond, especially if you were adding a massive Robinson contract into the mix. That shouldn’t be a decisive factor, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it.
In the end, this is all just speculation based on the contract situation and some apparent social media displeasure. We don’t need to go too far with this unless an actual rumor develops. For now, I’m just saying, it’s out there, people are talking about it, and I don’t love it.
I’d rather the Bears just did what Tarik Cohen suggests:
— Tarik Cohen (@TarikCohen) September 15, 2020
UPDATE: This has escalated to the point where Robinson has reportedly asked for a trade.