September 22, 2021


Top 25 most important Bears in 2021: No. 2 Allen Robinson

For 2 new quarterbacks, Robinson should be a steady presence to lean on

Leading up to Bears training camp in late July, Shaw Local is counting down the top 25 most important Bears for the 2021 season.

What makes one player more important than another? That’s subjective, of course. But for our purposes it comes down to this: Are the Bears worse off if this player can’t play? Does this player have untapped potential or past greatness to live up to? Is his story going to be one fans follow closely this season?

Justin Fields might not be the best player on the Bears in 2021 (or maybe he will be?), but he certainly is among the most important.

No. 2 Allen Robinson

Position: Wide receiver

NFL Experience: 8th year

Looking back: Allen Robinson has been the best offensive weapon on the Bears’ roster each of the past three seasons. He surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in the last two seasons, playing with quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky, Chase Daniel and Nick Foles. In 2020, Robinson led the Bears with 102 receptions and 1,250 receiving yards. He totaled six receiving touchdowns.

The storyline hanging over Robinson the past year has been his contract situation. Robinson wants a long-term deal. He and the Bears clearly haven’t been on the same page. Instead, Robinson will play on a one-year franchise tag this season. His future with the team beyond 2021 is up in the air.

Looking forward: Robinson is going to become the best friend, so to speak, of new quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Robinson has been the engine that makes the Bears offense go during his three seasons in Chicago, and there’s no reason for that to change now. If the Bears are going to be successful in 2021, if they’re going to have any shot at the playoffs, they need another 1,000-yard season out of Robinson.

It doesn’t matter who’s playing quarterback. Robinson has been successful with the Trubiskys and the Blake Bortles of the world. The fact is, offenses move more efficiently when Robinson is involved. Darnell Mooney emerged as a nice No. 2 receiver in 2020, but he doesn’t have the lengthy 6-foot-2 frame that enables Robinson to catch anything within reach – even if it means going up and over a cornerback. He elevates the Bears offense in a way that other players on the roster can’t match.

The contract drama will remain when the season is over, but on or off the field, the Bears need Allen Robinson.

In case you missed it: Previous installments of the top 25

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.