Could Allen Robinson Actually Be Traded by Bears?

Gene Chamberlain

Allen Robinson's social media maneuvering has led to questions about whether he's actually at odds with the Bears.

Chicago Tribune Bears beat writer Brad Biggs reported Robinson has asked for a trade, citing an unnamed "league" source. Adam Schefter later in the day reported there has been no trade request, and cited Robinson's agent.

Robinson's contract ends after this season and there have been discussions between his agent and the Bears, and until now neither side wanted to divulge much.

However, Robinson may have done more with his actions than with his words as he has removed all of his Bears photos from his Instragram account and has replaced other Bears references.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace just before the start of the season made it seem the team was just waiting for clarification about the NFL salary cap for next season and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the amount available to spend. The cap space available is tied to league revenues, and with no fans at games it's certain to take a dip. However, the league has already made sure it wouldn't drop by more than $23 million to below $175 million through an agreement made with the NFLPA.

Spotrac.com reports the Bears salary cap figure for this season at $11.7 million available while Overthecap.com puts it at $9.6 million. Some of this cash can be devoted to Robinson's extension. This year he counts $15 million against the cap with a salary of $10.9 million.

Robinson has been assigned a market value of $16.7 million by Spoctrac.com for 2021, which is merely their estimate. The contract extension value they've put on him is three years and $50.09 million.

Beyond waiting to know what the effect of COVID-19 is, the Bears have other factors involved. Currently Overthecap.com estimates they have only $8.2 million available under the 2021 cap at this moment, using $175 million as the cap level.

It's quite possible the Bears have to wait because they might not be entirely done with Mitchell Trubisky after this season. Since he's not under contract for next year, Trubisky would need to be signed. Also, they have some other unrestricted free agents who could eat up space like Tarik Cohen and Roy Robertson-Harris.

It's obvious from social media the Bears would take plenty of flak if they let Robinson leave in free agency. If they opted to trade him, the deadline is Oct. 29.

However, it's entirely possible they've been planning for such a possibility. 

They drafted Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller, Javon Wims and Riley Ridley in the last two years. Both Wims and Ridley can play the X receiver spot.

The Bears could also use a tag on Robinson if negotiations remain at a standstill and they want to keep him. If they wanted to get value back for him, they would need to trade him before before the trade deadline this season.`

The franchise level for wide receivers in 2020 was $17.865 million and in 2021 a projection based on a $175 million cap would put it at $15.7 million. If the Bears went that route, they would basically be keeping Robinson at his current level, and that can't possibly be a positive situation moving forward.

Robinson is still only 27 years old. He made five catches for 74 yards in the opener.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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