While much of the talk surrounding the 2019 Chicago Bears has been criticism of the team’s quarterback, one of his targets has gone overlooked.
In fact, Allen Robinson has been so unheralded in 2019, it’s borderline criminal.
The Bears wide receiver is enjoying his best season since his breakout 2015 campaign, back when he was a Jacksonville Jaguar and one of two Allens (the other being Allen Hurns) torching defenses for touchdowns. Robinson is on pace for a career-high 93 receptions and his first 1,000-plus-yard season since that great year in Florida. And if you’d asked people back in 2017, they wouldn’t have predicted he’d ever reach this level again.
Robinson loves Chicago, which took a chance on him following an ACL injury that robbed him of a chance to earn a hefty contract following his final season in Jacksonville. He wants to remain with the franchise for the long run and a chance to cement his legacy in the Windy City.
“I would love to be the Bears’ all-time leading receiver,” Robinson said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “With the longevity of the organization and players who have come before here, goals like that are big. Being the all-time leading receiver for a franchise like the Chicago Bears is special.
“I’ve really enjoyed my two years. We’ve won a lot of games. From an organization standpoint, it’s a top-flight organization and coaching staff.”
Robinson attributes his return to impact-player status to the freedom and versatility afforded him by Matt Nagy’s offense. Instead of just running streaks for rare big plays, the receiver is running the full complement of routes and doing so from a variety of locations, opening many new doors for him in Chicago’s passing game. That could help him prolong his effectiveness in the NFL, as a move to a primary slot role could keep him productive into his mid-30s, a la Larry Fitzgerald. At 26 years old, he seems well-positioned to sign a multi-year deal and make a team happy well into the next decade.
Robinson’s contract, which runs through 2020, is being discussed now because there’s a potential out in it before next season. Chicago could cut Robinson loose and carry just $2 million in dead cap a year before his deal would officially expire, but it’s clear that wouldn’t be an ideal move for a team that’s trying to lift itself out of the bottom third of passing offenses in the league. Instead of moving on, Robinson and the Bears are more likely to talk about another commitment to one another.
The Bears have underwhelmed in 2019 but aren’t dead yet. They’ll need to win out and get a ton of help elsewhere, and no matter what happens this season, they’d be wise to keep one of their most important playmakers. While other receivers garner much more attention across the league, Robinson is quietly owning his role as Chicago’s top receiver. It would behoove quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears organization to keep him in the fold for years to come.