The Chicago Bears didn’t have many positives to take from their disappointing 2021 NFL season. After finishing with a 6-11 record, the top brass decided to part ways with head coach Matt Nagy. Star wide receiver Allen Robinson II posted the least productive season of his career in 2021. The veteran wideout recently opened up on his struggles and Nagy’s role in them.
Allen Robinson II grew frustrated with Matt Nagy’s offense
When the Chicago Bears drafted Justin Fields with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, many people were excited to see him throwing passes to Allen Robinson II. Robinson had proven to be a reliable weapon in the past and seemed like the perfect fit for a rookie quarterback.
However, the season didn’t go as planned for the entire team, let alone Robinson. The Penn State product recorded just 38 receptions for 410 yards and one touchdown in 12 games.
Robinson struggled to find chemistry with either Fields or Andy Dalton, which was concerning. The 8-year receiver claims the issues run deeper, though. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s Keyshawn, J Will, and Max, Robinson sounded off on the season and his relationship with former head coach Matt Nagy.
“It was extremely frustrating,” Robinson said. “Coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. And seeing some of the game plans, how I’m not really being involved, and how I’m not doing the things that I’ve done in the past. Once I came to terms with how I was being used and what was going on, it was me trying to focus on being productive.”
The Detroit, Michigan native also opened up on playing under the franchise tag.
“It just felt a little bit different,” said Robinson. “As far as my involvement and things like that, from the time last season ended. I think I talked to coach Nagy for the first time in June or July, whatever day mandatory minicamp was. That was the first time I talked to him since the flight after the Saints loss the year prior. Coming into the season, it was a little unsettling for me.”
The 1-time Pro Bowl WR is looking for a new contract
Allen Robinson II admits that Matt Nagy was his guy when he first got to Chicago. However, the general mood has been different since the end of the 2020 season. The timing of it all couldn’t have been any worse, with the wideout playing for a new contract.
The Bears franchise-tagged Robinson for the 2021 season, and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The 28-year-old receiver was hoping to put up some big numbers to help generate a heftier contract moving forward.
Robinson entered 2021 with 255 receptions, 3,151 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns across three seasons in Chicago. He posted 1,000-yard campaigns in 2019 and 2020, exceeding 150 targets in both seasons as well. Unfortunately, his production suffered a significant drop-off this time around.
The former Nittany Lions standout missed some time due to a hamstring injury and being on the COVID-19/reserve list. However, he didn’t make much of an impact when he was on the field. Robinson suggests the ineffectiveness of the offense hindered his production. During the wild-card game between the Chiefs and Steelers, he took to Twitter to throw a subtle jab at Matt Nagy.
Allen Robinson II’s decline was shocking, considering he put up better numbers with Mitch Trubisky as his quarterback. The lackluster 2021 season could drastically alter how much money he makes in free agency.
Landing spots for Robinson if the Bears don’t re-sign him
Allen Robinson II will test the free-agent market in the 2022 NFL offseason. Even though he experienced the worst season of his career (excluding one-game 2017 season), teams could be lining up for his services.
The Bears wideout is no slouch. The talent is not in question. His fit with Matt Nagy calling the plays was, though. With Nagy no longer in Chicago, it’s possible the front office opts to ink a new deal with Robinson. It would be wise if they want Justin Fields to succeed. However, a lot depends on how much the team values Robinson financially.
The Pro Bowl receiver’s puzzling role may have taken a toll on him mentally. A change of scenery could be in the cards for him to get his groove back. These teams could take a close look at Robinson in free agency.
- New England Patriots
- Miami Dolphins
- Cleveland Browns
- Jacksonville Jaguars
The Patriots, Dolphins, Browns, and Jaguars feature young quarterbacks with their fair share of doubters. All four squads lack a true No. 1 receiver, and Robinson has proven that he can play that role when given the opportunity.
Robinson would provide the Patriots’ offense with the potential big-play receiving threat it lacked in 2021. The Dolphins appear committed to Tua Tagovailoa. Adding the veteran wideout to pair with Jaylen Waddle could be an intriguing move. The Browns released Odell Beckham Jr., leaving a massive void at wide receiver.
The Jaguars drafted Robinson, and he spent the first four years of his career in Jacksonville. A return could bode well for Trevor Lawrence.
Allen Robinson II is sure to have a chip on his shoulder in 2022, regardless of where he plays.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference