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Insider Predicts Chicago Bears Gamble On Top Left Tackle Free Agent

Chicago Sports News

Ryan Poles wasn’t exactly handed an ideal situation. Not only did he inherit a mediocre roster from his predecessor Ryan Pace, but the latter also left little behind to help fix it. There are just five draft picks, including no 1st rounder and a modest salary cap space for free agency. The new Chicago Bears GM may have to take some calculated risks to make this team better next season. Especially regarding the offense.

One area everybody expects him to focus on is the offensive line. For a multitude of reasons too. The man himself played the position in college and the NFL. So he has a natural bias of its importance. Beyond that, reports indicate he has a low opinion of the Bears’ current front five. Hardly shocking after they allowed 58 sacks last season. Changes are coming. It is only a matter of how many. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN seems to think one notable name in free agency will have their attention.

Someone that would be an excellent fit for what they plan to do.

“32. Cam Robinson, OT

Best team fit: Chicago Bears

Why it makes sense: Robinson has major ability but plays inconsistently. With Chicago’s issues across the offensive line for the past few years, it’s time to invest in high-level talent, betting that Robinson will become more consistent in the right culture and system. — Fowler

Scheme fit: As Jeremy said, the Bears are betting on the upside and the ability of their coaching staff to elevate the play of Robinson. The former Alabama lineman has the talent level to hold down the left tackle position in Chicago. — Bowen”

Robinson is an interesting name. Nobody doubts his talent. He was a 2nd round pick in 2017 for a reason. A dominant force at Alabama. However, his early years in the NFL have been marked by inconsistency. In 2019 and 2020, he allowed a total of 13 sacks and 85 pressures on his quarterbacks. Things didn’t improve through the first half of 2021, allowing 24 pressures in seven games. Then something weird happened.

The 26-year old seemed to turn a corner. Over the final seven games he played, Robinson allowed just seven pressures total. A substantial improvement in efficiency. So any team looking to sign him this offseason would be facing a dilemma on which player they’re getting. The erratic blocker from the past 4.5 years or the one that dominated down the stretch of last year?

Cam Robinson mixing up his sets 🔥 pic.twitter.com/fF1EmQrJqq

— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) May 28, 2021

Cam Robinson 🤝 James Robinson.
Literally couldn’t have had a better hole pic.twitter.com/X7UxzfsLAg

— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) October 7, 2021

Chicago Bears would have to trust the coaches with Robinson

The good news is Chris Morgan, their new offensive line coach has a solid track record for left tackles. He did excellent work with Jake Matthews down in Atlanta, turning him from inconsistent 1st round pick to eventual Pro Bowler. Robinson has the same level of skill. It is a matter of whether he’ll take the coaching well and put in the work. Much of that comes with maturity.

This entire scenario also hinges on one other thing. Price. The Chicago Bears can’t afford to go out there and throw around blockbuster contracts. Poles said he would be selective in free agency. In other words, he’ll hunt out deals that he thinks are worth the price without going overboard. In Robinson’s case, that might be the right move. Recent contract projections suggest it will likely cost around $11 million per year.

That may sound like a lot, but it isn’t.

The top left tackles in the NFL make $20 million or more per year. Robinson would make barely half that. If the Bears are correct and his best football is ahead of him, they’d have a high-end blindside protector for Justin Fields at a significant bargain. That is the upside of taking such a risk.

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