As a former college procrastinator (and someone who spent years working under pressurized newspaper deadlines), I can confidently confirm that the whole “deadlines get things done” bit is no myth. They really work. That’s kind of, you know, the whole point of their existence. So with that in mind, allow me to remind you that we are just one week away from what might be the most important deadline of the summer for the Chicago Bears (July 15th): The deadline to sign designated Franchise players (i.e. Allen Robinson).
And we’ll use this impending deadline to discuss the latest (last?) guess at what it might take to get a deal done. PFF’s Brad Spielberger took a stab at projecting contracts for the seven players given the Franchise Tag earlier in the offseason. And for Allen Robinson, it’s a four-year, $81 million deal.
At a total value of $81 million, Robinson would be tied with Brandin Cooks (Texans) as the fifth-highest paid receiver in football. On its own, showing Robinson a commitment like that and placing him among the upper echelon of receiver contracts would be a nice nod. But it shouldn’t stop there. And if this contract projection were to come to fruition, it wouldn’t. Because with an AAV of $20.25 million, Robinson would be the third-highest-paid receiver in football. Only DeAndre Hopkins ($27.25M) and Julio Jones ($22M) would have a higher per-year average contract.
Here’s where it gets tricky.
Figuring out how much will Robinson get in guarantees is up-in-the-air. Not just because there hasn’t been much of an indication regarding what the cost of doing business would be, but also because we’re not sure how NFL teams will operate coming out of a pandemic-impacted year that saw revenue shortfalls. Don’t get it twisted. The NFL and its 32 teams made money last year. But because it was less than teams were previously budgeting for, some tough decisions had to be made when it came to pricey players this past offseason. And part of me wonders if that will trickle into this summer’s attempts at locking Franchise players into long-term deals.
Perhaps we can look at Keenan Allen ($32M in full guarantees) and Michael Thomas ($35M) as fair and favorable comps. Heck, we could look at Amari Cooper ($40M) as the high bar to clear for similar players. Ultimately, we’re probably looking at 40 percent of the contract coming in full guarantees. In other words, using what Spielberger presents as our baseline, a fair estimate might be a deal that includes $32.4 million in guarantees. Which, all things considered, feels like a bargain. And on a four-year deal, it would give Robinson another bite at the apple for his age 33 season.
All in all, nothing feels close on the Robinson extension front. So, while that stinks, at least this exercise should provide a better understanding of what could be coming down the pipeline if the two sides can find time to sit down and hash out a deal. The outline is there. Just use it, already!