The Chicago Bears and wide receiver Allen Robinson aren't close to putting pen to paper on a long-term contract.
In fact, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero (h/t Kevin Patra) reported on Tuesday that the two sides haven't discussed such a deal since September. Instead of losing him for nothing, the Bears could choose to hand Robinson a massive one-year pay raise via the franchise tag.
"That would certainly seem to bring the (franchise) tag into play," Pelissero said of the lack of negotiations between Robinson and the Bears. "Whether it is the Bears to try to do an extension, whether it is setting up Robinson to play on the tag, or maybe even a tag-and-trade scenario."
Per ESPN stats, Robinson led the Bears with 102 receptions, 151 targets, and 1,250 receiving yards this past season. Only tight end Jimmy Graham (8) finished the campaign with more receiving scores than Robinson (6) among Chicago players. Such numbers are all the more impressive considering the Bears rotated between lackluster quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles.
As Pelissero explained, the Bears placing the franchise tag on Robinson at any point between Feb. 23 and March 9 could allow the club to trade the 27-year-old ahead of the upcoming NFL Draft. Doing so could also secure a proven No. 1 target for Carson Wentz if the Bears are suitors for the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback reportedly looking for a change of scenery.