The first major switch-up for the Chicago Bears is on the horizon. After two offseasons of watching the old regime fail to extend Allen Robinson II, the wide receiver is on the cusp of free agency:
Adding to @CourtneyRCronin spot on reporting here.
The Bears will in fact let Allen Robinson hit free agency, per source. No tag is expected to be used for a second straight season.
A fresh start for the receiver coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020 https://t.co/Rx215rDEXc
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 8, 2022
While adding to reporting from ESPN’s Courtney Croning, network teammate Dianna Russini reports the Bears will not extend a second Franchise Tag to Robinson. There will be no one-year deal to keep him around as one of Justin Fields’ top targets. Nor will there be the use of the Transition Tag in an attempt to create a trade that nets the Bears some compensation. Instead, it is a clean break for both sides.
For whatever it is worth, this isn’t unexpected. It has been “unlikely” for Robinson to get a second Franchise Tag for a few weeks now. A new leadership council at the top of the organization appears to be set to go in a different direction. And they will be doing so without a player who put up consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2019 and 2020.
This comes one week after new Bears GM Ryan Poles didn’t give a definitive answer about Robinson’s future when discussing the matter during his recent media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. In a way, the non-answer answer left the door open for a surprise. After all, I suppose it wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities that a clean slate, new (and open!) lines of communication could help matters. And a franchise with new leadership and a different direction could have been appealing to Robinson. At minimum, it could’ve allowed for an opportunity for the two sides to re-visit the idea of a return. But that isn’t happening. It’ll be a clean slate for both parties. A much needed one at that.
With Robinson out of the picture, the Bears enter the offseason needing to add multiple receivers. Thankfully, free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft have options worth exploring. Finding someone who can re-create Robinson’s peak-year performances from 2019 and 2020 will be a challenge. But upgrading from his woeful 2021 campaign shouldn’t be that hard to beat. And from Robinson’s perspective, I imagine it will be easy for him to find a situation better than the one he left behind. As is the case with all breakups, I’m rooting for the best of luck to all parties.