How much did Chicago Bears hurt Allen Robinson’s value in free agency?
One theme of the offseason was Allen Robinson coming out on Twitter and insinuating that the Chicago Bears did not feed him the ball as much to possibly hurt his value in free agency. It sounds wild on its surface, but considering Robinson was in the room and we were not, it is at least worth considering.
Now that Allen Robinson signed his contract with the Los Angeles Rams we can finally put a price on how much his time with the Bears cost him. Whether that is Robinson or the Chicago Bears at fault is for fans to decide.
Either way, in 2018 Allen Robinson signed a three-year deal with the Bears worth $42M. That was big money at that time, and considering the cap went up in the three of the past four seasons you would have assumed that his next extension would have been bigger than three years, worth $45M.
Allen Robinson was disappointed that the Chicago Bears franchise tagged him, and rightfully so. At the time the franchise tag was $17.8M while Robinson was projected to get something near a four-year, $77 million deal.
The difference was about $19.25M to $17.8M, but the real difference was the one-year deal compared to the four-year that likely would have had 2.5 years guaranteed in money.
The issue was not only that the Bears came in lower than $19.25, but also that the pandemic came at the wrong time for Robinson. When the Bears saw a bad market for Kenny Golladay, they brought him with a chance to sign him cheaper than Robinson. Robinson wound up signing out of fear of what the market was.
Before the season, with the cap going up, there was talk of a four-year $80M possibility. Considering Christian Kirk signed a four-year, $72M deal it may not have been too crazy had Robinson played well in 2021. However, Robinson had his disastrous season.
Whoever is at fault, a four-year $80M deal turned into a projected four-year $66M deal. Instead of that, Robinson signed three years for $45M. This is another difference of $1.5M.
For Robinson, he probably realized that the extra $1.5M over the next three years was not worth playing for a quarterback and offense that would hurt his value again. He chose the Super Bowl champions with Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford.
Still, a chance for $19M in 2021 turned into just $17.8 while a chance at $16.5 in 2022 turned into $15M. It is worth adding that the biggest thing Robinson got from the Rams was the second season entirely guaranteed. He pulled in $30M in guarantees, which would have been a strong pull even on a higher contract. When you add that with the quarterback upgrade, you can rationalize it for Robinson.
Still, he had a few chances to cash in a bit more, but between him, the Chicago Bears, the market, and the worldwide pandemic, he found himself losing some money.