CHICAGO – With less than a month to go before the deadline for the Chicago Bears and Allen Robinson to accept a long-term contract, the wide receiver offered no indication this week that progress has been made towards a deal.
If it stays that way, Robinson will have to play the season on the $ 17.88 million franchise tag, which the Bears wielded in March. The deadline for a long-term deal is July 15.
“I don’t have any updates or anything like that,” Robinson said. “At the end of the day, it’s out of my control. … Right now I’m only focusing on the things I can control – coming back, being the best player I can be, trying to help the offense keep improving.
Robinson spoke to the media ahead of the mandatory minicamp at Halas Hall. He skipped voluntary organized team activities earlier this month, saying he wanted to focus on his individual training.
He said he chose to attend the minicamp because he didn’t want to step back or lose more money in any way. The Bears could have fined him over $ 93,000 if he had missed camp by three days. Robinson said he also plans to show up for training camp on time.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said it came as no surprise to anyone at Halas Hall that Robinson showed up at the minicamp because, as Bears coaches have repeatedly said during his three years in Chicago, he is an “absolute pro”.
“And I think he understands that in sport in general he’s not the only one going through these kinds of situations,” Nagy said. “It shows what kind of teammate he is and what the game means to him. We know that. We understand this. … He’s just a really good person who cares a lot about winning, and we appreciate him.
Robinson said he’s trying to focus on his own improvement while he waits to see if the Bears and his trading team can break out of a nearly year-long financial stalemate.
He has 255 catches for 3,151 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons with the Bears, including a career-high 102 catches for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.
Robinson has worked at training centers in New York and Florida with other NFL veterans and studied last season’s films so he could tackle several areas of his game as he enters his eighth year in the league.
He would like to improve after the catch and worked on “building more muscular endurance so that when I catch the ball I am able to maintain my speed for longer”. He had 12.3 yards per catch and 3.6 yards after catch per reception in 2020, the latter stat better than Calvin Ridley and Tyler Lockett among the 18 receivers who exceeded 1,000 yards, according to NFL NextGen stats .
Robinson said that building muscle endurance also extends to his upper body, “so once we get into the season late in games I’m still able to be strong and make those games. . “
Another item on his to-do list is improving his production in the red zone.
“Being able to make sure that I don’t just focus on the physical point of view, but just focus on what the opponents are trying to do to us in the red zone and how I can be better and how I can help my team more in the red zone when we get there, ”he said.
Nagy said they could see Robinson’s effort this offseason when he showed up on Tuesday to work with new quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Justin Fields for the first time.
“Every time you have that quality of a player coming back and coming out here in the caucus and just that experience that he brings, (that’s good),” Nagy said. “He’s got so much calm and confidence that you can see the guys over there pitching football to him and the things he does, he just slips into it.
“The only sneaky thing about A-Rob that I think is pretty cool is that # 1, even though he’s not around, you know he’s working his cock, and # 2 , he’s still in great shape, and we noticed today. “
The Bears have expressed such appreciation for Robinson for years, but that hasn’t helped them get on the same page for a long-term deal.
This means Robinson could have to play another contract year, a scenario that allows him to try and win his desired contract elsewhere, but also carries the risk of injury.
“Obviously that’s a possibility,” Robinson said of the franchise label. “It’s very good. It’s like that. Like I said before, my main focus at the moment continues to improve.
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