Here’s what some NFL executives think of Allen Robinson’s contract situation

Bryan Perez
·2 min read

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson has a contract problem. At least, he and most Bears fans think he does.

General manager Ryan Pace has expressed his desire to re-sign Robinson to a contract extension — A-Rob is playing on the final year of the three-year, $42 million deal he signed in 2018. It’s just taking a lot longer than anyone imagined it would.

With each passing week comes a fluctuation in Robinson’s expected price tag. It’s unlikely his salary demands will go down, even if his production isn’t great. As other wide receivers ink new deals (and skill players, in general, get rewarded with new contracts), Robinson will take notice and want his piece of the pie.

And think about it: as we get closer to the end of the season, Robinson gets closer to unrestricted free agency. If the Bears want to use the franchise tag on him next offseason, it’ll come at a cost of $18 million, a bump in pay by $4 million for Robinson. While a one-year deal isn’t optimal for a player with an ACL injury in his history, it at least gives Robinson some leverage in negotiations.

The Athletic’s Mike Sando recently surveyed NFL executives about Robinson’s contract situation and what a new deal could look like for the 27-year-old wideout.

“Robinson and (Kenny) Golladay are 27 — if they sign a three-year deal, they might not get another big deal at 30,” an exec told Sando. “They probably need to be looking at a five-year deal and try to get the first three years guaranteed.”

The biggest complication in Robinson’s contract talks is the reduction coming in next year’s salary cap. The novel coronavirus has taken its toll on NFL revenue and the salary cap is expected to shrink to $175 million.

Essentially, there will be less money to go around.

“On a $175 million cap, the market is the same as when Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Davante Adams and those guys did their deals,” another exec told Sando. “The problem is, all these other guys are $17-18-19 million, so that is the number guys are shooting for now (with a cap similar to the 2018 version).”

Contract extensions like Robinson’s are complicated in a normal season, let alone one that will be impacted by a global pandemic. Hopefully, both sides can find common ground on a new deal soon. Just don’t count on it.