As is the case with the world in 2020, Allen Robinson II is believed to be looking for a trade out of Chicago because he has removed the Chicago Bears from his Instagram biography and deleted all Bears photos from the account.
Speculation will certainly swirl, but this is a development that the New England Patriots should jump everywhere. Lost in the excitement of Cam Newton’s hasty breach in Week 1 was the fact that Patriots receivers still look like a problem on paper. Only two wide receivers even saw goals against Miami, and again Julian Edelman was the only one who consistently succeeded. He got a PFF grade of 72.7 for the game and caught five of the six goals sent to 57 yards, and while N̵
Edelman remains the only Patriots wideout to consistently create separation or win on a regular basis, and at some point it will create problems for Newton once he needs to air the ball out.
Robinson’s contract is also extremely affordable. He has a base salary of $ 10.9 million for the 2020 season, which is a number that goes down for every game he plays in Chicago. Trading with him also frees up $ 13 million in cap savings for the Bears, and the Patriots have the second-highest capacity in the NFL right now.
They are a team with the financial means to make this happen without thinking about it, and Robinson would present a massive upgrade to their recipient group. Since the start of the 2018 season, Robinson has a PFF rating of 90.3 against a single coverage, a top 20 rating on the position. Edelman has the best number among Patriots receivers nearly 10 grade points lower at 81.7, and the only other two to have grades above 70 during this time period are no longer on the list.
New England are yelling at a receiver who can win against man cover and separate to help their quarterback.
Robinson, for his part, has also never played with a high-level quarterback and goes all the way back to his high school career. In college, he was largely responsible for the myth that grew up around Christian Hackenberg thanks to his stellar years in Hackenberg’s freshman season. In the NFL, he first suffered through the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville before seeing history repeat itself in Chicago with Trubisky.
Robinson has never had a bad season in the NFL despite not yet playing with a quarterback capable of raising his game. He has six seasons with PFF grades of at least 69, and his best years have pushed that character into the 80s. A PFF rating of 80 or more for a receiver is typically good enough to place in the top 15-20 of all wide angles, but the difference between that and a top 10 spot can easily be attributed to the quarterback throwing him the football.
Trubisky had a surprisingly good performance in Week 1 in a win for the Bears, but his overall rating was still only 64.7 and he missed several key throws.
It’s still too early to tell how good Newton will give football to the Patriots, but his resume contains at least proof that he has the guts to match what Robinson can bring to the table and create something bigger than the sum of Its parts. His MVP season featured elite quarterback play, and even since that time – often through injury – he has averaged 7-10 points better than Trubisky over a season.
Finally, the Patriots have a history of acting to answer problems in their receiving corps. Brandin Cooks was acquired (and later sent) for a first-round draft, they have only just moved on from Mohamed Sanu after using a second-round draft to acquire him, and there are other moves they have made to fill a problem spot with a proven veteran. They will not completely abandon Harry given where they drafted him, but at this point he has not yet shown that he can be the number 1 recipient they need.
It’s in Chicago’s interest to lock Robinson in the long run, but if they can’t, and that union is heading for divorce, it could be a huge opportunity for the Patriots to add a proven talent to a receiving corps that needs a impact player if this Newton offense is to be as successful as it can be.