Here's What Could Make Trading Allen Robinson Worthwhile

Gene Chamberlain

The suggestion the Bears might trade Allen Robinson created the kind of Chicago and social media uproar you'd expect if they were planning to trade anyone of importance short of Khalil Mack.

Talk about a buzz kill after a big opening-day win.

At this point it will only be called a suggestion because there has been "confirmation" both ways, that he didn't ask for a trade as well as that he has.

What is certain is when you have a player who is a leader in the community, within the team, and represents the organization in a desired way, it only adds another layer on the abilities displayed each week in games. 

Robinson was last year's Walter Payton Award nominee for the Bears, an honor they don't take lightly in Chicago for obvious reasons. And when a player makes 98 catches and sells out his body numerous times just to pull down a key pass from a scatter-armed quarterback, it's worth paying extra.

Then again ...

No player is above being traded.

Salary demands and cash get tossed around these days in ways you wouldn't expect from a league where revenue is going to spiral downward drastically next year. Teams have to be careful about what they're spending because they may not have it to spend.

It's not known what Robinson's demands are yet, but a Tweet by Adam Schefter citing Robinson's agent claimed he was unhappy the Bears wouldn't pay "market" value.

Market value is a very subjective term. 

Spotrac.com assessed a market value of $16.7 million a year to Robinson. It seems a bit low, and after some of the contracts paid receivers recently then it's easy to understand why he'd be upset.

The Bears could keep him and tag him and it might only cost them less than $16 million next year, and he could hold out. This is doubtful coming from a player who missed one full season of his career already.

The entire situation is most likely overblown now, fueled by hysteria. But think about it: What if the Bears actually did get offers for Robinson? Would trading him be worthwhile?

What would make it worth trading him in early or midseason?

If the Bears could get a first-round draft pick in exchange, it definitely would be worth making the deal.

The wide receiver corps currently has some depth and might be able to absorb such a move. Riley Ridley is a fourth-round pick with some obvious skills and wasn't even active on Sunday. Darnell Mooney is showing he can contribute immediately and scare the wits out of defensive backs with his speed.

Javon Wims at 6-foot-2, 222, is the same height and one pound heavier than Robinson, and has improved greatly according to coaches.

Anthony Miller is capable of acrobatic catches as well as big plays already. Ted Ginn Jr. didn't even get involved in the offense yet. 

They're also carrying three wide receivers on the practice squad for some reason: Reggie Davis, Thomas Ives and Rodney Adams. A conspiracy theorist could have a field day with this fact. Maybe they were planning to lose one of the receivers on the 53-man roster? 

It's just a thought.

And if the Bears could get a first-round pick for Robinson, then what could they get if they traded that pick, their own first-rounder, and another high pick or player? Would it put them in the running for Trevor Lawrence?

If you go down that trade rabbit hole it can take you a long way.

There's no sense dreaming about it because Robinson wouldn't fetch a first-round pick in return, not at age 27. Maybe if he was 24 or 25 and in possession of great deep speed he could. But Robinson is more a possession guy. He's not a threat in yards after the catch, finishing 146th in the league in average yards after the catch last year. 

Robinson ran a 4.6 40 at the combine well before his torn ACL, and so his real value is the tough catch. There might not be anyone better at going vertical and pulling one down in coverage. He was first in the league with 26 last year according to Pro Football Focus, and considering who threw the passes this is all the more impressive.

The Patriots couldn't get a first-rounder for Jimmy Garoppolo, an eventual Super Bowl quarterback. 

If the Bears got a second-rounder in a deal for Robinson it might be worth considering, but it wouldn't put them in the Lawrence sweepstakes. 

So ultimately it wouldn't be worthwhile.

Robinson's value to this year's team is much higher than a second-round pick next year and this much was clear from the way Tarik Cohen and Cordarrelle Patterson started campaigning for a new Robinson contract in social media.  The players value his presence. A coach could lose a team if a player like this was dealt over a contract squabble.

By the way, both Patterson and Cohen are free agents after this season, too, so it's kind of hard to call them objective about the team paying someone. 

The players do feel strongly about Robinson, and even Mack has a strong bond with the top Bears receiver.

The future of the Bears at quarterback is unclear and if a first-round pick became possible, then no one could blame them for pursuing it in order to restock the quarterback position.

The sad irony of this would be Chicago could then have a good quarterback throwing passes but Robinson sadly wouldn't get to catch them after he has spent his career chasing passes from Trubisky and Blake Bortles.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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