According to NFL.com’s Marc Sessler, the Indianapolis Colts are the AFC’s ‘free agent fit’ for Chicago Bears’ soon-to-be free agent wide receiver Allen Robinson—who may not be able to escape the franchise tag though:
WR | Age: 27
Carson Wentz spent last season as the living example of a human operating in CTRL+ALT+DEL mode. Forcing throws and waltzing into sacks behind a battered O-line, the one-time MVP candidate appeared mentally broken while waiting for the Force ghost of DeSean Jackson to finally make an appearance. Wentz finds himself in a vastly improved ecosystem in Indy, a playoff team with front-office vision and plenty of cap space. The Colts have talent and potential in Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell. They’re lacking a bona fide top dog, though. Robinson fits the bill, although the Bears could make things expensive with a tag-and-trade lever pull.
The 27 year old wideout is fresh off another standout season for the Bears, in which he had 102 receptions for 1,250 receiving yards (12.3 ypr. avg.) and 6 touchdown receptions during all 16 starts—despite again suffering from underwhelming starting quarterback play.
Dating back to his days with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Robinson has been limited by inconsistent starting quarterbacks largely his entire 7-year pro career:
Allen Robinson's QBs grade/rank by season:— PFF (@PFF) March 2, 2021
2020 - Mitch Trubisky: 63.5 (T-32nd)
2019 - Mitch Trubisky: 64.3 (27th)
2018 - Mitch Trubisky: 63.6 (32nd)
2017 - N/A
2016 - Blake Bortles: 56.9 (28th)
2015 - Blake Bortles: 65.2 (24th)
2014 - Blake Bortles: 46.7 (34th) pic.twitter.com/Anj4FlCrbj
However, the impressive thing is that he’s still been insanely productive regardless:
Allen Robinson receiving— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 30, 2020
1 drop pic.twitter.com/k2BceXXqGT
Lowest drop % by WRs in 2020:— PFF (@PFF) February 23, 2021
⭐ Davante Adams: 0.9%
⭐ DeAndre Hopkins: 0.9%
⭐ Allen Robinson: 1.0%
⭐ Cole Beasley: 1.2% pic.twitter.com/hCYwAmrR3h
Allen Robinson II has only 6 drops on 417 targets since joining the Chicago Bears in 2018 pic.twitter.com/a7q4fKsUgM— PFF (@PFF) March 3, 2021
Most catches for a 1st down since 2019:— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 4, 2021
Travis Kelce - 145
DeAndre Hopkins - 143
Allen Robinson - 131 pic.twitter.com/xAFy6r8XBN
Allen Robinson II: 47 contested catches since 2019— PFF (@PFF) March 3, 2021
Most in the NFL ️ pic.twitter.com/VWYoZHvet8
Most contested catches 20+ yards downfield since 2019:— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 2, 2021
Allen Robinson - 11
D.J. Chark - 11 pic.twitter.com/J5lupwKxNq
Highest graded free agent WRs since 2019:— PFF (@PFF) February 25, 2021
Allen Robinson II - 89.1
Chris Godwin - 88.6
Kenny Golladay - 83.1
Corey Davis - 80.6 pic.twitter.com/f4gI9nq731
Of course, the Colts previously had interest the last time Robinson was a free agent in 2018 before he ultimately signed with the Chicago Bears.
At a listed 6’2”, 220 pounds, Robinson is a big wideout, who has incredibly sure hands, is a contested catch wizard, and can make acrobatic, difficult snags downfield and in the red zone—high-pointing and finding the football despite tight coverage (with excellent body control).
He’s a bonafide #1 ‘alpha dog’ in the NFL and arguably a Top 5 wideout in the sport—as a dynamic playmaker that the Colts could pair with emerging second-year wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. along the outside.
Robinson would provide new Colts’ starting quarterback Carson Wentz a go-to target, who could move the sticks, threaten opposing secondaries downfield, and be ‘open’, even when coverage is draped all over him—as an elite weapon who can consistently make tough catches and big-time plays when the Colts would need them the most.
Signing Robinson would be a way to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ of the Tyreek Hills, Travis Kelces, and Stefon Diggs that the AFC’s top playoff contenders otherwise are deploying.
Armed with a projected $43.6M of cap space this offseason (but with some big core contract extensions coming up), the Colts may have to get creative to fit Robinson in bigger picture—while maintaining their salary cap flexibility going forward.
However, he shouldn’t be ruled out either—as Robinson makes a whole lot of sense for an ascending Colts team that is ‘built to win now’ and just a few impact pieces away from seriously contending for a Super Bowl.