Allen Robinson has largely remained quiet on his outstanding contract issue with the Bears, but with a decision deadline looming, time is running out on determining the star receiver's future.
Robinson is likely headed directly toward a franchise tag from the Bears, who haven't made much progress, if any, on a long-term deal with their best receiver. One would be hard-pressed to find a player who is happy about receiving the tag, and while Robinson is rare in that he's stayed mum on the topic, he's not about to silently take the tag when he knows he's deserving of a better deal. And like most players, Robinson despises how it affects the narrative surrounding his contract status, and the opinion of fans about whom he cares deeply.
"It would be like if I told somebody, 'You are qualified for this job. And this is what the other people at that job are making. But you can't make that,'" Robinson told Tyler Dunne of Go Long. "Nobody in America would even do that. You see people go from job to job on an everyday basis in America. They get a job, they fill out another resume because, now, they have the experience. They go from company to company to company, at the same time, increasing their salaries. But for players, when you get in that situation where you're even up for a contract, it's almost a lose-lose between the fans and -- for a lot of players, not just myself -- even the organization and teammates.
"The narrative of the story is so muddied up for no reason at all, when players just want what their value is."
Robinson's value should land him among the top receivers in the NFL right now. The wideout finished ninth in receiving yards in 2020 with 1,250, and 14th with 1,147 yards in 2019. Between those two seasons, he's caught 13 touchdown passes while working with a revolving cast of quarterbacks.
He's been an oasis in a receiving desert for the Bears, who don't appear to be ready to drink the water, let alone be led to it. That leaves Robinson to only consider one of two outcomes: Remain in Chicago on a long-term deal, or on the franchise tag, with the latter being even more unlikely than the former. He hasn't quite closed the door on remaining a Bear, playing for a city he's repeatedly said he loves very much.
"My personal opinion, if something could possibly work? Yes," Robinson told Dunne. "I'm not opposed to being back in Chicago by any means. I've even expressed that over the last couple of years -- wanting to be the all-time leading receiver in Chicago which, I believe, I'm under 2,000 yards away from that.
"With all that being said, unfortunately we've come to what seems to be a fork in the road. But not even a fork. We haven't even been given a viable option to be able to do those things that we want to do without sacrificing a ridiculous amount pretty much for the rest of my career."
Robinson is bent on cashing in because he's already been robbed of such an opportunity once thanks to a torn ACL suffered near the end of the 2017 season, ending a contract year in disaster and costing him millions. He's not about to have it happen to him twice, bringing additional sense to his disdain for playing under the tag.
If he ends up tagged, which still remains as the most likely outcome, Robinson isn't afraid of joining the wave of players who are trying or have successfully tried to force their way out of an undesirable situation, telling Dunne forcing a trade is "definitely an option."
It sounds as if a reconciliation isn't ahead for Robinson and the Bears. The fork -- or whatever Robinson sees it as at this point -- is just around the corner.