Allen Robinson, Bears remain in standstill in contract discussions

"We know where we stand at this point," Robinson says of negotiations with the Bears.
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By 670 The Score

(670 The Score) Star receiver Allen Robinson has continued to strike the right tone during his contract standoff with the Bears.

"We know where we stand at this point," Robinson said Wednesday. "Right now, I'm just trying to focus on the Falcons."

Robinson has promised to "compartmentalize" the uncertainty he faces in his final season under contract in Chicago and focus on the next game, but that can often be a difficult proposition. Robinson and the Bears re-engaged in contract discussions over last weekend, sources said, but they still appear to be far apart on the extension that Robinson seeks.

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A floor for Robinson and the Bears was set last Friday when the Rams signed receiver Robert Woods to a four-year, $65-million extension (with escalators up to $68 million) -- meaning the lowest figure the Bears could offer in good faith is $17 million annually. The benchmark for Robinson and his representation was set with earlier deals for Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper and Chargers receiver Keenan Allen at $20 million annually.

Robinson is coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a career-best 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns. He had more receptions last season than Cooper (79) and more touchdowns than Allen (six), and Robinson surpassed Woods in every big category (90 receptions, 1,134 yards, two touchdowns). Last season marked Robinson's re-emergence into the class of top receivers after he battled injuries in the two seasons prior.

Reaching an agreement is a delicate and uncomfortable process, one in which Bears general manager Ryan Pace and his brass must measure Robinson against his positional peers -- right there at the bargaining table with Robinson's party.

Robinson, 27, wants to be respected along with the top receivers in football. He also wants security after suffering a torn ACL just one play into 2017, his last contract season. Meanwhile, the Bears have to be mindful of a diminished salary cap for 2021.

The difficult nature of these discussions can linger, which is why the Bears have offered their support for Robinson. Coach Matt Nagy met with Robinson last week after his frustrations moved to social media, reminding him of the Bears' recent history of securing key players to contract extensions.

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Robinson have held conversations about Robinson's contract uncertainty.

“It’s good to get that stuff off your chest," Trubisky said. "It’s normal as a human to have those thoughts about having a contract, uncertainty about the future and then having to kind of block that out for a second and then go out to practice and perform at a very high level and go out and play in the games. It’s good to have those conversations just to get that off your chest.

"Anything that he needs, he obviously knows I’m here. My locker is right next to his, so we’re always having those conversations to help out.

"We just continue to hope that that contract gets figured out because we want 12 here.”

While Robinson has declined to discuss the specifics of his contract standoff with the Bears, he has had plenty of backing from teammates. Bears running back Tarik Cohen, who joked about leaving money on the table in reaching his contract extension last weekend, is continuing to lobby for Robinson to land a new deal.

"I would definitely love to see my boy get extended," Cohen said. "He means a lot to the team."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.