I don’t think it’s any secret that the Jets will be looking for an upgrade in their wide receiver room this off-season.
Whether Joe Douglas decides to stick with Sam or roll the dice with Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, surrounding the QB with talent is a necessity.
Allen Robinson is a 27-year-old receiver coming off 102 catches, 1,250 yards and 6 touchdown season in an inconsistent offense with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles throwing him the football. In short, he’s elite.
When talking to the media on Monday, he didn’t sound overly optimistic that a long-term deal can be reached:
“I personally feel like we had an opportunity to be able to get something done over the past 365 days,”
Robinson cut a frustrated figure last off-season as he removed all mentions of the Bears from his social media accounts, but was able to put that behind him to enjoy a successful season.
Now the Bears must decide what to do with their star receiver. The problem for the Bears is that as of today they are set to be $186k over the cap in 2021 according to Spotrac.
When asked if he would welcome being franchised, Robinson pleaded the 5th, in a clear indication that franchising him won’t go down overly well.
The franchise tag for wide receivers in 2021 seems to be projected at around $15 million. At age 27 it’s understandable that Robinson will want to secure a little long-term guarantee and his agent will make that known to the Bears.
You have to think that Robinson’s camp will be looking at that four-year $80 million contract that Keenan Allen signed with the Chargers last season which works out at an average annual salary of $20 million, that could be too rich for a Bears team that will need to make some very difficult decisions this off-season. He may not get quite as much as Allen, but he’ll be wanting to be paid significantly more than the average of his last contract which was around the $14 million mark.
Robinson doesn’t have that breakaway speed, but he is one of the best route-runners in the league and his hands are top five. PFF graded Robinson as the 5th best receiver in the league in 2020. He was credited with just 1 drop on 150 targets.
Robinson isn’t the only receiver slated to be a free agent, although I doubt some of these guys will hit the open market. Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, Will Fuller, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Corey Davis are all slated to become FA’s in 2021.
The Jets are looking at over $60 million in cap space for 2021, significantly more if they make logical cuts like trimming Alex Lewis and Henry Anderson from the roster. They can afford to go after one of these top receivers. They could elect to address the position in the draft, which is deep in receiver talent. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went hard after someone like Robinson.