The Chicago Bears are heading into the offseason with prominent questions concerning their quarterback situation. Much of which will center on Mitchell Trubisky‘s long-term future. However, the Bears‘ front office’s attention should lie elsewhere before truly assessing that matter.
Bears are likely to end Mitchell Trubisky experiment
Before the 2020 season began, the storyline around the Chicago Bears primarily concerned Mitchell Trubisky’s long-term future.
Chicago heightened that attention after electing not to pick up the fifth-year option for the 2021 season on Trubisky’s contract. The team compounded the situation by trading for former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
Things quickly shifted into high gear from that point as Trubisky lost the starting job early in the year. Foles took over the reins, but his persistent struggles led to the former second overall pick regaining the position late in the season. Trubisky performed well while guiding the Bears to secure the final wildcard spot in the NFC.
However, the 26-year-old stumbled in the wildcard matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Trubisky finished with 199 passing yards with a touchdown in the 21-9 loss. The discussion has since shifted toward the Bears’ upcoming plans for the offseason.
Trubisky can enter the free-agent market for the first time in his career. The Bears hold the option of re-signing him on a new deal or franchise tag him for the 2021 campaign. Chicago may have those routes available, but their attention should be focused elsewhere on another of their prominent players lined up to hit the open market.
Bears have bigger matters to address
While the Chicago Bears should have their attention directed on their quarterback situation, there is a potentially rough situation developing elsewhere ahead.
Star wide receiver Allen Robinson is about to complete his three-year, $42 million deal and hit the free-agent market in March. Over the last year, the Bears were unable to work out a long-term extension with the 28-year-old. During his exit interview on Monday, Robinson voiced that he will have all of his options on the table in the coming months, according to Chris Emma of 670 AM The Score.
“I do have a great fondness for this city and for this organization. Unfortunately, in a (contract) situation like this, that’s not the only thing that matters,” Robinson said. “There are more things that weigh out than just the fondness of something.”
Following his struggles in his first season in Chicago, Robinson has broken through in the last two years with at least 1,100 receiving yards and 90-plus catches. He finished the 2020 campaign with a career-high 102 catches with 1,250 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions. Robinson is a cornerstone of the offense, and his departure would be a tremendous hit to the passing game regardless of the Bears’ quarterback dilemma.
Meanwhile, Robinson can move quickly to secure a significant deal from another team on the open market. Several franchises such as the New York Jets, New York Giants, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and Baltimore Ravens could all express interest.
Robinson also stated that he “pleads the fifth” regarding the possibility of the Bears placing the franchise tag on him for the 2021 season. Although it’s quite early, it all but sounds that he wants out of Chicago.
Major change ahead in Chicago?
Allen Robinson’s comments give off the strong inclination that he’s out the door with the Chicago Bears, but things could drastically change.
If there is any hope of retaining Robinson, the Bears must figure out their quarterback situation. It’s doubtful that the star wideout will want to continue to deal with that messy matter.
Early indications are leaning toward the Bears finally moving off the former Pro Bowl quarterback. Ultimately, if the team can garner a definitive direction under center, there may be a chance to keep Robinson as a long-term piece of the puzzle.