The Bears have yet to determine whether they will place a franchise tag on veteran receiver Allen Robinson II prior to next Tuesday's deadline.
Robinson is due to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins March 17. If he receives a franchise tag, the Bears would retain his rights for the 2021 season via a one-year tender or by matching any offer he receives from another team. If the Bears don't match the offer, they would be awarded two first-round draft picks as compensation.
"We have a ton of respect for Allen, and then we have to do what's best for the Bears, too," general manager Ryan Pace said Tuesday during a video call with the media. "We consider everything. The league gives us the franchise tag as an option; that tool's there for a reason. We haven't made a firm decision on any of that yet. But we know we have that at our disposal."
Since signing with the Bears as a free agent in 2018, Robinson has appeared in 45 games over three seasons, catching 255 passes for 3,151 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had 55 receptions for 754 yards and four TDs in 2018, 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven TDs in 2019 and a career-high 102 receptions for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.
"We love Allen Robinson," Pace said. "He's a great player for us. We know that. And not just the player, but the teammate and professional that he is. Again, the franchise tag is an option for us. It doesn't mean we're necessarily going to use that. But we want to keep our good players and Allen is a good player for us."
As is his policy, Pace declined to provide details about the negotiations.
"With a contract, there's a number of things that go into it," Pace said. "Again, I can't get into that. I hope you respect it. It's just part of the process and it's just going to take both parties to work together to make something work. I know Allen wants to be a Chicago Bear and we want him to be a Chicago Bear, and it's a sensitive process that we're kind of in the middle of, and we've got to work through it."
Coach Matt Nagy has no doubt that Robinson understands how much the Bears appreciate him and what he's accomplished on and off the field.
"A-Rob knows how much we love him," Nagy said. "A-Rob knows how much that me, as a head coach, and Ryan, as a general manager, the importance that he brings to the city, to the organization, to his teammates, to all of us, and the things that we have done for him, being able to help him be productive.
"Now you get to this point, and this is where Ryan and [director of football administration] Joey [Laine] will do their thing and A-Rob and his agent work together and you try to figure out, 'OK, where is it a win-win?' From my perspective, I let them do that part.
"Again, I've had a million conversations with A-Rob in three years and he's well aware of what he means to all of us. This is just the business side, and we're not the only team in the NFL that's dealing with this right now."