Allen Robinson’s first public statements regarding his desire to return to Chicago beyond the 2020 season came on December 18, 2019. We are now 421 days past that date, and there’s still no extension in place.
HOWEVA … if you want a glimmer of hope, Robinson provides it in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. And even then, it comes with a but. Because it always does, doesn’t it?
Robinson says there is an open line of communication with the Bears. So it’s not as if he’s closing the door on a return to Chicago in 2021, and that’s swell. But here’s where the “but” comes in. Robinson adds “we haven’t spoken in some time now.”
Free Agent WR Allen Robinson on a possible return to Chicago or signing somewhere else in 2021.
"As everything stands today, I would be open to everything on the table"
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 11, 2021
That’ll take the wind out of your sails if you’re a Bears fan hoping Robinson returns. Imagine having an open line of communication for a team for which you’ve posted consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, only for them not to be reaching out to your liking. And, sure, the phone works both ways. But that doesn’t make it any less disappointing, especially since GM Ryan Pace has said he knows how much Robinson means to this team.
To further twist the knife, when Robinson was asked about a possible reunion in Jacksonville, he said he would be open to anything that comes on the table. I must admit, the Jaguars are about to look interesting to a great number of free-agent pass-catchers.
Robinson’s representation can begin talking with other teams in 32 days when the NFL’s “legal tampering” period begins. Two days after that, Robinson could become an unrestricted free agent. Of course, there’s still one thing that could throw a wrench in all of this: The Franchise Tag.
Teams can designate Franchise or Transition players beginning on February 23rd and until 3pm on March 9th. If the Bears tagged Robinson, it could keep him in Chicago for at least another year (depending on which tag they use), but at a very healthy price tag and with no long-term guarantees that it’d be more than just one season.
But let’s keep that in mind as we set forth on this leg of the journey. It’s possible that Robinson doesn’t even hit free agency. Fasten those seatbelts, Bears fans. It could get bumpy!