Chicago Bears: 5 players facing crucial contract years in 2021

Chicago Bears (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Chicago Bears, Allen Robinson
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Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson is facing a crucial 2021 season

Probably the most polarizing player entering the last year of his deal (a franchise tag in his case) is wide receiver Allen Robinson. Much has been made about whether or not the team is able to lock him up on a long-term deal before mid-July. But, the sentiments have not been positive in that regard. Despite Robinson being one of the more under-appreciated players in football, the Bears just might not be able to get an extension done.

So, Robinson could be getting ready to play his final year with the Bears — and just as he could finally be getting the best quarterback of his career in Justin Fields.

Much depends on this season for Robinson. His future contract, for one, is the biggest piece of the season’s outcome. Whether or not Chicago is able to bring him back is irrelevant. Robinson saw receivers get much less attention in this year’s free agent market, and he wants to go into 2022 knowing he can make top dollar. That depends on his production.

His 102 receptions were a career-high in 2020, and if Fields gets the nod sooner rather than later, he could end up topping that number by becoming the rookie’s go-to guy. It’s safe to say that Robinson needs a career year if he is going to command top receiver money in 2022.

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Do the Bears get a deal done before the July 15 deadline? If not, Robinson is betting on himself and will already have one foot out the door.