By Michael Fitzpatrick
Despite the Chicago Bears’ struggles at quarterback, Allen Robinson II has posted back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards and been the only reason the offense was able to move the ball most of the time.
Robinson had expressed a desire against playing the 2021 season on the franchise tag in the past, but he has shown up to mandatory minicamp. This is a great display of Robinson’s professionalism, and another reason he deserves to be rewarded by the Bears.
Locking up Robinson long-term would help the Bears immensely. Not only is he an incredibly talented football player, but he can be someone for rookie quarterback Justin Fields to lean on. Fields developing into a star is crucial for the future of the Bears, both in the short term and many years down the line. Fields won’t be able to develop properly if he has no one to throw the ball to.
Since 2019, Robinson’s 47 contested catches rank No. 1 in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Having a receiver with that skill set and the ability to bail out his quarterback can only help Fields as he adjusts to the NFL.
Other statistics that put Robinson’s value in perspective is that he currently ranks in the top 15 all-time in Bears franchise history in receptions (11th), receiving yards (15th), and yards per game (4th) despite only playing 45 games in a Chicago uniform. This is a franchise that has struggled to get consistent production from the wide receiver position for decades and letting someone like Robinson walk would be irresponsible.
The only potential downside to a Robinson extension would be potential injuries, but that really hasn’t been an issue for the receiver. He tore his ACL in 2017 and missed three games in 2018, his first season with the Bears. He hasn’t missed a game since, though, and has only missed six other games in his career. He’s been remarkably durable throughout his career.
The bottom line is, the Bears need to give Robinson the security he has earned and agree to a contract extension before the July 15 deadline—for Robinson, the good of the franchise, and the development of Fields.
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