Allen Robinson, a free-agent-to-be who has been a standout performer for the Bears the last three seasons, “everything” was on the table as far as his future goes. And while Robinson said there is an open line of communication with the Bears, he also said it hasn’t been used in some time.
Perhaps the next time that line gets used could be as an avenue to create a tag-and-trade deal featuring Robinson. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports the Bears and Robinson haven’t had extension discussions since September. And because stalemate is what it is at this point, Pelissero believes the Bears could use the Franchise Tag in a number of different ways.
“Whether it is the Bears to try to do an extension, whether it is setting up Robinson to play on the tag, or maybe even a tag-and-trade scenario.”
Tags have been most recently used to extend negotiation windows for extensions or as a way to squeeze out one more year from a player. But Pelissero’s speculation of using the tag to create a trade grabs my interest. Especially since it comes days after reports surfaced that Chicago is prepared to use the tag to create a new window for extension talks. That’s certainly convenient to see a new report suggesting a tag could be used to create a tag-and-trade option for Robinson.
The idea of using the tag for a trade is an intriguing one. It’s outside-of-the-box thinking, to be sure. But maybe a little too outside-of-the-box, considering how it doesn’t come around often. The Jarvis Landry deal in 2018, which netted the Dolphins a 2018 fourth-round pick and 2019 seventh-rounder from the Browns, stands out as a notable basis for comparison.
For more options on the table, you can check out our post sorting through what the Bears and Robinson can do.
The beginning of the Franchise/Transition Tag window opens on February 23. That’s next Tuesday for those of you keeping score at home.
Robinson, 27, is coming off a 102-catch, 1,250-yard, 6-touchdown season. In fact, Robinson has collected consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Chicago and has been the team’s best pass-catcher in each of the last three years. Understandably, he wants to be paid market value for his excellence. Meanwhile the Bears would be in the right in wanting to retain his services by any means necessary. And so long as the Franchise Tag is an option as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the team is in the right to exercise such an option if it deems it to be necessary.