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LAKE FOREST – For nearly a year, the Bears and their No. 1 receiver have been trying to come to terms on a deal that would keep him in Chicago for the long term.

That quest for a middle ground is still ongoing, and will extend into the 2021 NFL season.

The deadline for Allen Robinson and the Bears to reach a long term contract before the franchise tag goes into effect came and went on Thursday afternoon. Without a new deal, this means that the receiver will play on a one-year, $17.88 million deal

This number is higher than the NFL’s franchise tag worth this season for receivers ($15.98 million) because Robinson’s salary cap numbers was higher in 2020. That means that he’s entitled to a 2021 salary that’s 120% of what he made in the season before.

It’s a dissapointment on both sides considering what Robinson has been able to do on the field considering the team’s struggles on offense and at quarterback. He caught 98 passes from an inconsistent Mitchell Trubisky in 2019 for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns then topped it the next year when the struggles continued.

As Trubisky and Nick Foles traded the starting quarterback spot, Robinson went over the 100 catch mark for the first time in his career (102) with 1,250 yards and six touchdowns.

Early in the 2020 season, there were attempts to get a contract extension done but it never came to fruition. Despite a lack of a deal this offseason, Robinson reported to and took part in the Bears’ mandatory mini-camp at Halas Hall in June.

Robinson will catch passes from Andy Dalton to start the 2021 season as the Bears have frequently declared the veteran the team’s No. 1 quarterback. Rookie Justin Fields will be the backup and will likely see action after the Bears traded up to select him with the 11th overall pick in April’s draft.