The Chicago Bears must keep Allen Robinson or find a suitable replacement
Without knowing the details of what might be involved with the Carson Wentz trade, determining what the Chicago Bears’ next steps must be is a little more difficult. This is where “if-then” statements will come into play.
No matter what, the Chicago Bears must either find a way to keep the talent of Allen Robinson or find a suitable replacement. By cutting Anthony Miller (or trading him, but doubtful unless involved in the Wentz trade), the team would be left with Darnell Mooney, Javon Wims and Riley Ridley as the top wide receivers on the team. This is a worse situation than what Carson Wentz just had in 2020 with the Eagles — not going to work.
This means the Chicago Bears must find a way to keep Allen Robinson, even if that means using the franchise tag. Right now, the franchise tag hit for wide receivers is projected to be around $16 million for 2021. With the corresponding moves previously mentioned, the Chicago Bears will only have $11.5 million, but restructuring Eddie Jackson puts them at over $17 million. This is not enough but does cover what is needed for Allen Robinson.
Unfortunately, trading for Carson Wentz looks like it might be the end of Akiem Hicks unless he too takes a pay cut or signs an extension while also restructuring his 2021 salary. Removing Hicks’ contract from the books saves $10.5 million dollars and gives the Chicago Bears $27 million in cap space — plenty of room to cover Wentz and Allen Robinson’s salary.
There are three ways to handle Allen Robinson’s situation in 2021. First, the team can franchise tag him and hope he plays, the Bears can sign Robinson to an extension or the team can tag and trade him. Letting him walk cannot be an option as Ryan Pace must find a way to get something for the wide receiver. If the Bears choose to trade him, then they must find a suitable replacement. Some of those options include:
- Kenny Golladay
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- Chris Godwin
- Will Fuller
- Corey Davis
Not all of these names are guaranteed to hit free agency as some will be resigned and others will see the franchise tag themselves. A few other names like T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Green come to mind too, but I do not think either can fill in enough to help cover the loss of Allen Robinson.
My hope here is that Allen Robinson is the guy as he’s proven to be better than all the names on this list, but I’d feel just fine with any of the five names above as suitable replacements.