At this time next week, we’ll know whether Allen Robinson II will play under the Franchise Tag or a multi-year contract extension.
In a spot on NFL Network captured by Twitter user @thegeorgetwo, Tom Pelissero explains why it will most likely be the former, and not the latter:
— george (@thegeorgetwo) July 9, 2021
Pelissero reports “there have been no substantive talks” between the Bears and Robinson’s camp since the end of the 2020 season. And that while there is still a week for those talks to pick up, ironing out a contract extension in that time seems unlikely. So, on the one hand, it’s been a while since talks have been serious. And with that in mind, I imagine it is difficult to reach a deal if two sides aren’t talking. But on the other hand, it just takes one call before that July 15 deadline and the right amount of cash to change everything.
Speaking of cash, the latest (last?) estimates on what a Robinson extension could look like don’t appear to be prohibitive. In other words, it looks as if the Bears could give Robinson a hefty extension without wrecking their cap situation. That’s a good thing. And I suppose that Robinson saying “we’ll see” if talks pop up before the July 15 deadline leaves an iota of hope. But “we’ll see” is never the type of firm answer anyone wants. Who knew extending a top-50 player right now would be kin to a taffy pull?
All in all, that 22-second clip featuring Pelissero is a bummer. Robinson is the Bears’ best receiver since Brandon Marshall was rocking with Jay Cutler and hauling in everything thrown his way. Having contract uncertainty at WR1 while grooming Justin Fields to be the quarterback-of-the-future makes me feel uneasy. Nevertheless, the expectation is for Robinson to play this year under the Franchise Tag. That’s good news for the short term. But the longer this drags on without a deal, the more angsty I get about Robinson’s long-term future in Chicago.