Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson has been everything general manager Ryan Pace could've hoped he'd be when he signed him to a risky three-year, $42 million contract in 2018, less than one year removed from a torn ACL suffered in 2017's season-opener as a member of the Jaguars.
Robinson has been the Bears' MVP both on and off the field. He's had what many consider to be a Pro Bowl season (despite getting snubbed from the all-star game) with his 89 catches, 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns entering the season finale against the Vikings. Off the field, Robinson has assumed a leadership role that was, in part, acknowledged Thursday when he was honored with the 2019 Bears Media Good Guy Award for consistently being available, professional and engaged with reporters despite the team's disappointing season.
“I understand that (reporters) have a job to do,” Robinson said Thursday. “Even if it’s tough games or whatever it may be, I try to give as much time as I can when I’m in more of an upbeat mood. Because I know sometimes after a loss or after something (tough), I may not be able to give you guys that much time. So it’s just kind of understanding how it goes.”
Robinson's impact on the development of this roster will be as big as any catch, too. According to offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, A-Rob is planning on an offseason of training with the Bears' young receivers in an effort to avoid another offensive letdown in 2020.
"He’s just a stud, great dude to be around, great team guy, heard him yesterday talking to a couple wideouts about, ‘hey, in the offseason, you’re going to come live with me and do this, this, and this.’" Helfrich said from Halas Hall on Thursday. "We need, if we had 100% Allen Robinsons as a player, as a character-type guy, we’d be in really good shape."
The Bears' first order of business should be to make sure the one Robinson they do have on the roster remains there. He'll enter the final year of his contract next season and if Pace wants to make sure the 26-year-old is in Chicago for a long time, he'd be wise to redo his contract this offseason. If any Bear deserves a raise, it's him.
"The thing that he does really well that some guys are either insecure or, “I’ve made it,” or whatever, he asks the right questions in meetings," Helfrich said of Robinson's professionalism. "If I’m Anthony Miller, I realize ‘hey, if that dude’s asking questions, maybe I should do that too,’ and that’s a big deal I think as a behind-the-scenes show of leadership that he does constantly."
In a season that's gone so wrong for Chicago, Robinson has proven to the Bears he can be a pillar to lean on.