Brad Biggs at The Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
Re-signing Allen Robinson seems like a no-brainer. Why aren’t the Bears talking to him? The whole thing feels needlessly disrespectful. Are they just that far apart contract-wise that the Bears don’t even want to bother? — @adam407
There’s no question the team and Robinson were far apart when it came to parameters of a contract extension last summer. My opinion has been that the Bears will use the franchise tag on Robinson, and the deadline for that is Tuesday. The Bears need to be competitive in 2021, he has been their best offensive player for three seasons and as much as they talk up the ability of the other wide receivers on the depth chart, they would be in a miserable place without Robinson. Darnell Mooney had an encouraging rookie season, but in a really good offense, he’s a No. 3 receiver next season. Anthony Miller hasn’t progressed since his rookie season. Riley Ridley can’t get a uniform on game days. Javon Wims hasn’t really stepped forward with his opportunities. They have to keep Robinson. Maybe the Bears take a swing at a long-term extension before Tuesday, but it’s not like that’s a deadline as they would create more time for negotiating by using the tag. You can call it disrespectful, but at the end of the day, it’s business. Robinson is seeking what’s best for him and using comparable contracts to justify his position. He took a risk playing out his last contract and performed well. The Bears haven’t valued him in the same range, and that’s how we’ve arrived at this point. It’s not ideal. It might not seem fair for Robinson. But it happens.
I think there may be a few reasons why the Bears aren’t talking to Robinson. The first may be that there simply isn’t anything to talk about. There’s little advantage to the agent, Brandon Parker to negotiating with the Bears before they actually apply the tag. Once that’s done and Robinson is actually occupying the cap space, the pressure on the Bears begins to increase as their freedom to sign other free agents decreases.
I’d say it also possible that the Bears are trying to send a message here. When negotiations started earlier in the year, Robinson (read \”his agent\”) decided to make a public display which supposedly demonstrated his unhappiness by dropping the Bears from his social media accounts and, briefly, letting it known that he wanted to be traded. This was, of course, all posturing but the Bears are notoriously adamant about insisting that negotiations not be public. It’s possible that the Bears are telling Parker, “If this is the way you are gong to choose to handle your business, you are going to get the rough end of the pineapple from us.”
Finally, and I tend to like this explanation best, its entirely possible that the Bears have decided to franchise Robinson and see how the market gets set in free agency.
With the drop in the salary cap, this offseason is pretty much unprecedented and its entirely possible that neither the Bears nor Parker actually know what Robinson’s market value is. Will the prices for high end free agents go down due to lack of cap space? Or will the high end free agents continue to be signed at high salaries while the middle class gets further squeezed? For that matter, no one knows what the salary cap will even be at this point.
So its entirely possible that nothing is happening because everyone is being patient for all kinds of reasons.