LAKE FOREST – There was one victory that Bears’ fans and maybe the team’s top receiver were hoping to get before the games begin in 2020.
Contract extensions in training camp and the preseason have been an annual tradition for Ryan Pace during his tenure with the Bears. While this is certainly not a normal lead-up to a season, there was a hope that the team might extend Allen Robinson’s deal before the opening kickoff against the Lions on Sunday.
As of Thursday, that’s yet to happen, and the time may be ticking to get that extension done since deals don’t usually transpire during the regular season. That would mean that Robinson would have the shot to enter the free agent market since the three-year, $42 million contract signed in 2018 is set to expire.
Naturally, most players would want some security both from a playing and financial perspective, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Yet Robinson continues to say in public that he’s not fazed by the lack of a deal as the season opener approaches.
“For me, it’s never my focus. I’ve said that before. I’m not focused on that. I’m focusing on the season. Like I said before, we’ve got a game this week. So my concern is focusing on the Detroit Lions right now. Going out here and helping my team get a ‘W.’
“All that other stuff, I let it play out however it play out. Again, that’s not of my concern right now.”
It could be for Ryan Pace if he wants to lock down his unquestioned number one receiver before he hits free agency. He isn’t ruling out a possible in-season extension, but like Robinson, isn’t really going much into detail about what might transpire.
“I don’t see this week as a deadline,” said Pace when asked about the Robinson deal. “We know how important ‘A-Rob’ is as a player and as a teammate. But those things are going to remain behind scenes as we work through the process.”
During a very inconsistent and disappointing season for the Bears, it was Robinson who was the bright spot in 2019. Emerging as the No. 1 receiver, Robinson caught a career-high 98 passes for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns over 16 games.
If the Bears have any hope of getting their offense to the level many had originally hoped when Matt Nagy took over, they’ll need the receiver to be strong again. Robinson understands that as he approaches his seventh season in the league and what’s looking more like a traditional contract year.
“My main focus is to control what I can control. I don’t look too much into stuff. I know, as far as for me, and what I’m looking to get out of this season, I have a lot of stuff; plays I want to make. I’m not content with what I’ve done in this league or even as a Bear,” said Robinson of his hopes for 2020. “I’ve got many more things I want to accomplish, and that’s where my head is right now.
“One, that’s helping this offense be a top-five offense in this league, helping us get to the playoffs, help us try to get to the goals we’ve set out for ourselves.”
At the moment, however, time is running out on the one preseason goal he along with the Bears had hoped to achieve this offseason.
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