Do the Bears need to address the wide receiver position via free agency or the draft? Should they look at potentially trading for a guy like Antonio Brown? Is Allen Robinson a true number one wide receiver?
Let’s take a closer look at some of these questions.
Franchises are always looking to improve at every position they can. If it makes sense financially, the Bears may look to improve via free agency or the draft. As of right now, they don’t have a first or second-round draft pick. That could change when the draft comes around if Ryan Pace makes a deal to acquire some picks.
As for free agent signings, the Bears don’t have a ton of money to play with and they’ll likely be using some of what they do have to address their secondary. Guys like Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan are set to become free agents. They could look to bring one or both of those players back, or they could invest money in a replacement or two.
Not having a lot of money to play with brings us to the answer to question number two. No, the Bears don’t look to be viable suitors for the services of Antonio Brown. He’s set to make more money yearly than what the Bears seem to be able to afford. If the Steelers trade Brown, they will take a dead cap hit upwards of 21 million dollars. With Brown’s ability and the money the Steelers would be losing out on, it only makes sense they would be asking for a lot in return from the Bears.
Like previously mentioned, the Bears don’t have a first or second-round pick. Also with the past ego problems they had with guys like Brandon Marshall, it’s doubtful they want to risk bringing in a potential locker room distraction, especially given the great chemistry and locker room togetherness the Bears had in 2018.
2017 was a tough year for Allen Robinson. As a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he tore his ACL in the very first game of the season and was out for the year. Because of the injury, the Bears were able to sign Robinson on March 15, 2018, to a very team friendly deal. The deal was three years and 42 million dollars but would allow the Bears to cut Robinson after the 2020 season and only have a dead cap hit of two million dollars.
But the question remains, is Allen Robinson a true number one receiver? Standing 6-foot-3, 211 pounds, Robinson certainly has the tools and catching ability to make big plays. From 2015-16 during a two-year stretch in Jacksonville, Robinson racked up 153 catches, 2,283 yards, and 20 touchdowns. He doesn’t have elite level speed, but he is a good route runner, can go up and get the ball, and makes difficult catches in traffic look easy.
This past season, Robinson added a much needed outside threat for the Bears. He led the Bears in receiving yards with 754, to go with 55 catches and 4 touchdowns. Not a huge season as far as stats go, but you can definitely see the added element he brings to the Bears offense. He was the outside threat teams were looking to double team and had to game plan against in the passing game along with Tarik Cohen out of the backfield.
He also dealt with injuries and left the game versus the 49ers in Week 16 after diving for a catch. The following week he sat out in Week 17 versus the Vikings. Expected to play, Robinson suited up for the playoff game versus the Eagles, but it sounds like he wasn’t fully healthy. How could he have been? He said this past week on Bears All Access that he is still trying to get back to 100 percent and he hasn’t played since Jan. 6. He also went on to say that he was dealing with fractured ribs at the end of the season.
— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 2018
Oh, and by the way, he had arguably his best game of the season in the most important game of the season. He finished with 10 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in the playoff game. For all the ridicule that Robinson has received for being unable to stay healthy, playing in a game of that magnitude with cracked ribs, and showing out the way that he did, that’s rising up to the occasion. That’s number one wide receiver-worthy.
143 yards and a TD.
He has the talent and he has the will. He said he started feeling better and more explosive late in the year when it came to his ACL recovery. After a full season playing after the injury and recovering from fractured ribs, next season could be a big breakout season for Robinson.