The Chicago Bears are making moves despite being up against the salary cap. To help soften things up a bit, Ryan Pace should be giving Allen Robinson an extension. What is taking so long?
If you follow social media, Chicago Bears fans and analysts have been calling for an Allen Robinson extension for quite some time now. What exactly is holding this up? Amari Cooper was the biggest free-agent signing this offseason. Could Robinson be trying to match or get close to that deal? Cooper just received a five-year, $100 million dollar contract with $60 million guaranteed.
There was a recent report from a twitter account that claims Robinson’s extension has been done. Turns out that report was completely false and Allen Robinson himself called the twitter account out with a blue cap emoji. For those of you who are not hip and cool like me (I had no idea what it meant, thank you Google), the blue cap essentially means you are lying.
This is why you should not tweet things or publish content without knowing the facts first. That point aside, what exactly is the hold up here with the extension for Robinson? Robinson clearly played well in 2018 and his level of play grew even greater in 2019. From a salary-cap perspective, extending Robinson could be a great way to save somewhere between $3 and $5 million dollars in cap space this season. Not to mention, the fans want to see it happen.
Could it be that Pace is still trying to restructure contracts? The team clearly needs to find a way to add some depth and even pay for their 2020 draft picks. Extending Robinson would help in this area too. Restructuring deals to make an extension for Robinson happen does not make sense. Pace would not need more salary cap room for the extension this year. That money would likely go to other free agents. Again, I ask, what is the hold up?
Clearly negotiations are still taking place. Robinson is fantastic, but I am not sure the Chicago Bears can afford to lock him into a contract that matches Amari Cooper. As of now, Robinson is due $15 million dollars this season. This is the ninth highest salary cap hit in 2020 at the wide receiver position. From an average salary perspective, Robinson is 15th at $14 million per season.
If Robinson is trying to get to $20 million per year, that could be the cause of the delay. Personally, I think he should be somewhere in the $16 to $17 million per year average salary range. That would slot him in around Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. This seems fair to me.
As negotiations drag on, my fear is that Allen Robinson has doubts about staying here in Chicago. Is it possible he is not happy with Mitchell Trubisky? Maybe he is tired of seeing balls sail out of his reach? Playing devil’s advocate here, but maybe Robinson does not like the idea of Nick Foles under center? Could he stay loyal to Trubisky over Foles? Maybe it is some combination of the two and Robinsons sees himself playing with a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes instead.
Money usually does the talking though, and my guess is that this is a negotiation issue. It could be the average salary, guaranteed money or even the length of the contract. Robinson is 26 years old. Any contract length of four years or great puts him at 30 years old. It could be the Chicago Bears want him here longer, or it could be that Robinson wants a shorter (maybe a three-year) deal to give him one last opportunity at another big payday.
No matter what the reasons are for this extension yet to be signed, we must hold out hope that Pace gets this one right. This is what most Chicago Bears fans would consider a layup for Pace. If Pace somehow screws this up, I expect even more of the fan base turning their backs on him.