The period in which teams can place Franchise or Transition tags on players opens on Tuesday.
But just because it can happen as early as tomorrow doesn’t mean it will. In fact, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport suggests that teams will wait it out until the 3:00pm deadline on March 9th in hopes that they can land an extension for players who would otherwise get a tag.
Among the situations that falls under that particular umbrella is one featuring the Bears and Allen Robinson:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2021
Rapoport misfires when he says Robinson was a tag recipient last year. And he sort of jumbles the situation. But the rest? Well, it’s interesting stuff — with the most notable nugget being this: “Don’t be surprised if they try to get some sort of deal again.” In other words, it sounds like Rapoport is trying to relay that the Bears will try to get an extension done with Robinson before resorting to dishing out the Franchise tag to retain him for 2021.
Robinson’s tag number for 2021 is $17.88 million, per Rapoport. That’s a hair lower than the $18 million estimate that’s been floating around, but higher than the $15.3 million for other receivers getting the tag.
Should Robinson and the Bears come to a deal, it will be quite the development. Heck, it would be noteworthy if the two sides were to end up at the bargaining table given all that’s occurred since talks derailed. Recent reports suggest the Bears and Robinson’s representatives haven’t been in discussions since September. And while Robinson has offered small windows of hope, even going as far as to say there is an open line of communication available, that the Bears haven’t reached out to it is notable. And frankly, disappointing. Robinson led the team in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He was a Pro Bowl snub who proved to be a legitimate WR1. Players like Robinson don’t grow on trees. And if they did, the Bears wouldn’t know what to with it.
Sigh. It really feels like the Bears blew their chance at extending Robinson a while ago. But there’s a reason pencils come with erasers. Chicago has a chance to right a wrong and make amends. And the organization shouldn’t overlook this opportunity to make things right.
In the end, I have my doubts about whether a deal gets done in the two weeks that pass between tomorrow and the end of the tag period. But at least both sides have something to shoot for between now and then.