It’s no secret that the Chicago Bears receiving group was one of the worst in the league, and if they’re serious about turning Mitch Trubisky into a franchise quarterback, they need to get the guy some help.
With Chicago’s obvious need at wide receiver, many fans are looking to fix this problem with this free agency. There is some great top-level talent, with guys like Jarvis Landry and Sammy Watkins possibly being available (Watkins likely being franchised), but the guy that might be at the top of the Bears free agency wishlist is Allen Robinson.
Robinson would help Trubisky and help the Bears open up the passing game by not only having a big playmaker but also helping other receivers because defenses will be keying in so much on him. We could also see the running game improve, as teams would not be able to stack the box like they have previously.
Allen Robinson’s 2017 season may have ended early with an ACL tear, but his previous work is impressive enough to still make him a top free agent target. Robinson is listed at 6’3″, 230 pounds, giving a team like Chicago a player with some decent size on the outside. He may not have a great 40-time, running a 4.6 at the 2014 combine, but he has shown great game speed and posses the ability to create separation on a consistent basis.
He had a decent rookie season, finishing with 48 catches for 548 yards and two touchdowns. 2015 was the year that he broke out, however, as we saw Robinson catch 80 passes for 1,400 yards in that pro bowl season, as well as leading the league in touchdowns with 14. He was also ranked as the 31st best player in the NFL on the NFL Top 100 show. He was the guy for Blake Bortles that season and both of them looked like they were going to dominate the league.
Even though he had the down year in 2016, that could be because of Bortles’ inconsistent play. Robinson with consistent quarterback play could be elite, and he could have a better year than his impressive 2015 campaign.
Like I previously mentioned, he does not have great speed, but his route running is good enough to make up for it. He does a great job on cuts and does well making the quick move to create space. He also possesses great hands that can make the big play when needed.
His 2016 season had plenty of those, and I would expect that with a good quarterback he could absolutely dominate again. I always look at a receiver’s blocking ability as well, and he seems to be a willing blocker, which will help the running game.
Robinson also uses his body well to position himself on catches. He does a great job staying close to the cornerback and then at the last second, flipping his hips to make highlight-reel catches that end up on SportsCenter.
In terms of a contract, I’m expecting something around the $9-12 million dollar range for three or four years. Rumors are going around that the wide receiver market might not be that great and guys like Landry and Robinson may not get the deals that they expect. With Robinson’s ACL tear, some may be scared that he will come back the same, which hurts his value.
He could take an Alshon Jeffery like “prove it” deal to show that he can put up those big numbers like he did in 2015.
There is a good chance that we do not see Robinson hit free agency, as the Jaguars do like Robinson and could use the franchise tag on him.
The Jaguars could also decide that they don’t want to invest that much into the wide receiver position.
They already have Allen Hurns at $10 million per year until 2021, so they already are paying top wide receiver money to a guy. They may budget and re-sign Marquise Lee to have a solid enough receiving group. They made it to the AFC Championship without Robinson so they may decide he’s not needed.
Robinson would give Chicago the big-time playmaker that has been missed. If Chicago is serious about Trubisky’s development, they need to get to work on signing a big-time receiver.
Ryan Pace goes for a lot of cheap budget deals, but with so many of those already, we have the cap space to make the big move for this guy.
If he is available, I think Chicago should give him a long-term deal. It will open up the Bears draft plans, as we wouldn’t need to worry about drafting a wide receiver like Calvin Ridley in the first round.