Allen Robinson got decidedly less cryptic in his show of displeasure with the Chicago Bears. Just days after he helped them pull off a huge comeback in Detroit, he deleted all photos and mentions of the team from his Twitter and Instagram pages. This is a classic tactic of NFL players these days. Jordan Howard did the same thing back in 2018. He ended up leaving a year later.

Nobody wants to think the same could happen with Robinson. Yet the reality is hard to ignore. The two sides haven’t made meaningful progress on a new deal in months. GM Ryan Pace said not once but twice that concerns over the possible drop in the 2021 salary cap are a key reason for this. That is probably hard to accept considering other teams have handed out extensions anyway.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune speculates it’s the simplest explanation of all. The two sides have no common ground on a number.

“I imagine there is motivation on both sides to get a deal done. Again, it comes down to whether they can find common ground. Surveying some of those contracts, you have to imagine Robinson has an annual average in mind that begins with the number 2, as in $20 million? Maybe the Bears are a little below that.”

Bears will likely franchise tag Allen Robinson

Robinson may assume he’ll just go somewhere else but it’s not that simple. The Bears aren’t completely dumb. They can’t let the wide receiver leave without getting something in return. Now they would almost certainly procure a 3rd round compensatory pick for him in the 2022 draft if they let him become an unrestricted free agent. However, a more likely scenario is they franchise tag him. If he’s unwilling to discuss a new deal at that point, then they can trade him.

This is something that has become much more commonplace in recent years. Since 2018, there have been four players who were tagged that ended up being traded to a new team.

  • Jarvis Landry (2018) – traded to Browns for a 4th round pick
  • Frank Clark (2019) – traded with 3rd rounder to Chiefs for 1st and 3rd rounders
  • Dee Ford (2019) – traded to 49ers for a 2nd round pick
  • Yannick Ngakoue (2020) – traded to Vikings for 2nd and conditional 5th rounders

The same could happen with Robinson. He’ll be 28-years old next year and in his physical prime. If he has another standout season, there are no doubt teams will be interested in acquiring his services. It isn’t the ideal scenario fans want, but it’s the likely course ahead if the two sides continue to dig their heels in.

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