Chicago Bears: 4 moves Ryan Pace must make to finalize a playoff roster

Chicago Bears - Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Allen Robinson
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The Chicago Bears should extend Allen Robinson

Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is over and we know that the Chicago Bears did not land a top wide receiver prospect, Ryan Pace should look to extend Allen Robinson. This is a no-brainer in my opinion. Right now, Robinson is locked in on his franchise tag for $17.8 million. He is the highest cap hit on the team right now too.

If Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears are able to negotiate a new contract with Allen Robinson, not only will it lock in a top wide receiver to pair with newcomer quarterback Justin Fields, but it will also give Pace some flexibility with the salary cap this season.

By signing Robinson to a contract extension, Ryan Pace should be able to lock him into a deal that allows Pace to shift some of Robinson’s 2021 salary cap hit to future years. Heading into the season and even after, Robinson wanted $20 million per year in AAV.

With the pandemic and loss of ticket revenue in 2020, the salary cap went down for the first time in what feels like forever. This clearly had an impact throughout the league as other receivers saw a big drop in salary. Many of the free agent receivers this offseason signed short-term deals. Kenny Golladay was one of the bigger exceptions and his contract extension is $18 million in AAV, making him tied for sixth-highest overall. Allen Robinson is ninth for comparison’s sake.

Let’s say that the Bears and Robinson come to an agreement on a four-year, $76 million dollar deal with roughly $45 to $50 million guaranteed. The Chicago Bears should be able to save a decent amount of money in year one by backloading the contract. Realistically, Pace and the Chicago Bears could work the contract in a way that Allen Robinson only counts for $8 million (could even go lower) in cap hit this year — freeing up nearly $10 million to spend elsewhere.