Chicago Bears running back/return specialist Tarik Cohen has himself a contract extension, a three-year agreement that could be worth up to $18.25 million and includes more than $9.5 million in guaranteed money, according to a league source.
The Bears’ front office worked late into Saturday night to finalize Cohen’s extension, which runs through the 2023 season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the news.
The Bears’ ongoing efforts to negotiate a new deal with receiver Allen Robinson, meanwhile, have yet to produce an extension. Robinson’s frustration on not having his new deal in place become a hot topic this past week after it was learned the standout receiver and his agents had inquired about a potential trade if the Bears weren’t willing or able to produce an extension they feel is deserved.
The Bears face the Giants on Sunday at noon in their home opener at Soldier Field.
This was the final year of Cohen’s rookie contract, but he now gets longer-term security in Chicago. A fourth-round pick out of North Carolina A&T in 2017, he was invited to the Pro Bowl and named an All-Pro in his second season as a punt return specialist. He averaged 12.5 yards per return that season and led the NFL with 411 punt return yards. Cohen also enjoyed his best offensive season in 2018, leading the Bears with 725 receiving yards on 71 catches and totaling 1,168 yards from scrimmage with eight touchdowns.
Cohen was a Pro Bowl alternate as a return man last season, averaging 9.2 yards per punt return and finishing second in the NFL in punt return yardage to the New Orleans Saints’ Deonte Harris. His offensive productivity, however, dipped significantly. Cohen recorded just 669 yards from scrimmage on 79 receptions and 64 carries and his yards per catch average dipped to 5.8 from 10.2 the previous season.
The Bears have vowed since last winter to find ways to maximize Cohen’s abilities in the offense. In Week 1, the running back rushed seven times for 41 yards and added two catches for 6 yards in a 27-23 Bears win over the Lions in Detroit.
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