Allen Robinson vocally rejected the idea of playing under the franchise tag last year. Still, the Chicago Bears used the mechanism to keep the star receiver in town another year as sides remained far apart on a long-term contract.
Rather than wait until the eve of the season to sign the franchise tender, Robinson inked the one-year, $18 million deal last month after the Bears reportedly met with then free-agent wideout Kenny Golladay.
Despite detesting the franchise tag, Robinson told reporters Tuesday he's in "a pretty good mindset" about playing on the one-year tender. Signing it last month "played out what was best at the time," he added.
Rather than dwell on playing under the tag, Robinson will focus on making the best of 2021.
"I'm not too focused on anything else other than putting myself in the best position to have a successful year and do what I need to do for this offense and for my teammates," Robinson said, via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. "I'm in a good place. There are some very big accomplishments that can be had this season that have never been done before for the Chicago Bears. Also, being able to and wanting to get back to the playoffs and things like that. It's going to be an exciting year."
Robinson inked a three-year, $42 million contract in Chicago in 2018 after missing most of his final season in Jacksonville due to an ACL tear. The timing of the injury undercut Robinson's market at the time, leaving him underpaid as he dominated in Chicago. The franchise-tag money is good, but the 27-year-old has sought long-term security for years to no avail.
Robinson is coming off back-to-back 1,100-plus yard seasons in Chicago despite a sub-par quarterback situation. It's grotesque to think about what Matt Nagy's offense would have looked like without the underrated wideout.
The receiver declined to note whether he plans to attend voluntary in-person workouts with the Bears this season as he prepares for a season with Andy Dalton as his new QB. Chicago players released a statement through the NFLPA earlier this month noting that the "majority" of veterans would not participate.
The Bears and Robinson have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal or the wideout will spend 2021 on the franchise tag.