We're no detectives, but it sounds like Allen Robinson may not be long for the Chicago Bears.
The veteran wide receiver is set to hit free agency in March when his three-year, $42 million contract expires. Robinson could have been a Bear for longer had Chicago given him the contract extension he sought back in September.
No such extension materialized, however, and the day after the Bears' season ended in an NFC Wild Card Round loss to the New Orleans Saints, Robinson suggested the team may have missed its opportunity to keep him around.
"I personally feel like we had an opportunity to be able to get something done over the past 365 days," Robinson told reporters Monday, via ESPN's Jeff Dickerson.
If Robinson hits the open market, he'll have plenty of suitors -- the Patriots potentially among them. New England had one of the NFL's worst wide receiver corps in 2020 and could use a playmaker to jump-start its 27th-ranked offense.
As our Phil Perry suggested in his latest Patriots Mailbag, Robinson could command about $20 million per year on his next contract, which would far exceed what the Patriots historically spend at the position. (Julian Edelman makes less than $10 million per year as the team's highest-paid wideout.)
New England Patriots
But Robinson has the talent to warrant that paycheck: The 27-year-old has 200 receptions, 2,397 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns over the last two seasons with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles as his quarterbacks and led the NFL in receiving TDs (14) in 2015 with Blake Bortles throwing him the ball.
Robinson indicated that all options are still on the table including re-signing with the Bears. One option he wouldn't prefer, however, is Chicago placing him on an $18 million franchise tag in 2021.
"I’m not going to get into that right now,” Robinson said, via the Chicago Tribune. “Again, I think everybody knows a little bit on how I feel about that."
If Robinson does in fact seek greener pastures in free agency, the Patriots will be a name to watch.