The Chicago Bears’ 2021 season is fading fast. They’ve lost two of their last three games and their upcoming schedule doesn’t offer much of a break over the next few weeks. The Bears host the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday, who despite a 2-4 record are still road favorites over Chicago. Then, it’s off to Pittsburgh to face the always tough Steelers on Monday Night Football. The Bears have their bye in Week 10 only to return with games against the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers, with a Detroit Lions breather in-between.
It’s within a reasonable range of outcomes that the Bears can be sitting at 4-9 after 13 games. Obviously, it’d be a lost season at that point, and with wide receiver Allen Robinson counting down the weeks until he’s an unrestricted free agent, losing him in the offseason with the hope of a compensatory pick in return is less than ideal.
Maybe the Bears can pull a third-round compensatory selection just by letting Robinson walk. But there’s a chance his trade market would offer something of more value—perhaps a second-round pick—which would be a nice consolation prize for a team that’s never been able to take full advantage of Robinson’s top-shelf skills.
In order for general manager Ryan Pace to make a trade like that, he’ll need a dance partner. Here are three teams that should consider shipping a second-rounder to the Bears for Robinson.
The Ravens remain contenders in the AFC, and while an argument can be made that Baltimore should focus its trade-deadline attention on a running back, the reality is the 2021 season is all about Lamar Jackson. The return of first-round rookie Rashad Bateman will help the Ravens’ passing attack over the second half of the season, and the emergence of Marquise Brown and the always steady play from tight end Mark Andrews has elevated Jackson’s game as a passer to new heights. But imagine if Robinson was added to this offense? He’d provide Jackson with a top-tier mid-level target. His presence will force defenses to pick their poison between him and Andrews, while opening more downfield explosive plays for Brown and Bateman. All that for a second-round pick seems like a bargain.
Kansas City Chiefs
It’s pretty clear that the only way the Chiefs will return to the playoffs and, maybe, make a run for another Super Bowl bid is if their offense wakes up and regains its standing as the most explosive in the league. But there’s only so much Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can do as Patrick Mahomes’ primary targets. The Chiefs have been longing for a reliable possession receiver for several seasons and, believe it or not, seem to be missing Sammy Watkins’ presence in the offense. Adding a player like Robinson would make an already near-impossible task of stopping Mahomes even more impossible. While Robinson may not be all it takes for Kansas City to get back to the upper-class of the NFL, he’d certainly be a big step in that direction.
New England Patriots
Is there any team in the NFL (aside from the Lions) that’s fielded a worse collection of wide receivers than the Patriots in recent seasons? Their offseason spending at the position isn’t paying dividends through seven weeks, as their top three wideouts—Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor—have combined for just four touchdown catches; 27 players have had four or more touchdown catches by themselves so far this year. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones’ development would be enhanced with a receiver like Robinson, who’d fit Jones’ wheelhouse as a passer who likes to target the short-to-intermediate routes.