Bears let franchise-tag deadline pass with no movement

As expected, the Bears did not give the franchise tag to wide receiver Allen Robinson — or anyone else — before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

SHARE Bears let franchise-tag deadline pass with no movement

Bears receiver Allen Robinson celebrates a touchdown against the Bengals.

Jeff Haynes, AP Photos

As expected, the Bears did not give the franchise tag to receiver Allen Robinson — or anyone else — before the deadline at 3 p.m. Tuesday.  

Robinson, who would have commanded $21.5 million with the tag, will become a free agent next week. He’ll be the biggest name in a receiver market that became a lot less appealing after a busy day. The eight teams that gave out the franchise tag are guaranteed to keep their player in 2022 and have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension.

There’s an irony to Robinson’s newfound status in the free-agent market. The Bears are looking for a receiver just like him — though it probably won’t be Robinson himself, given the fact he could join a team with a competent offense for the first time in an eight-year career that began with the Jaguars. Last year, Robinson was frustrated after being unable to reach an extension with general manager Ryan Pace. His replacement, Ryan Poles, said last week the new front office communicated to Robinson, and others, that everyone had a fresh start.

Hours after agreeing on a contract extension with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers gave the tag to his favorite target, Davante Adams. Adams finished second in the NFL with 123 catches, third with 1,553 receiving yards and fifth with 11 touchdowns last year.

The Buccaneers gave receiver Chris Godwin the tag for the second straight season with hopes they can work out a long-term deal. Complicating matters, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Week 15, and his recovery figures to stretch into next season. 

Hours before the deadline, the Chargers gave receiver Mike Williams a three-year deal that NFL Network reported was worth $60 million.

Robinson had a disappointing 2021, catching 38 passes for 410 yards and one touchdown in 12 games. In his first three seasons with the Bears, he averaged 85 catches, 1,050 yards and six touchdowns. 

Robinson tops the Cowboys’ Michael Gallup and the Rams’ Odell Beckham Jr., each of whom has a torn ACL, on the free-agent hierarchy. The Cowboys’ Amari Cooper figures to leapfrog Robinson if he gets cut in the next week.

Of the eight players tagged, only one — Bengals safety Jessie Bates — plays defense. Three tight ends were tagged: the Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki, the Browns’ David Njoku and the Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz. Two tackles got the tag: the Chiefs’ Orlando Brown and the Jaguars’ Cam Robinson.

NOTE: The Bears are bringing back center Sam Mustipher, tight end Jesper Horsted and guard Lachavious Simmons on one-year deals at the league minimum. All three are exclusive-rights free agents. Players with less than three seasons of experience must accept such contract tenders.

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