Tarik Cohen, Bears in aggressive contract talks and aiming to have an agreement on Saturday, per report


That sound you hear is probably Allen Robinson cringing. The Pro Bowl wide receiver is frustrated with the lack of progress on contract talks with the Chicago Bears, to the point he deleted all reference to them on social media this week. The two sides have now reportedly reignited talks but remain far apart on a new deal, but running back Tarik Cohen is finding much more ease of conversation with the front office. While teammates and fans lobby feverishly for an extension on Robinson, it’s seemingly Cohen who’ll get one first. 

The latter is suddenly engaged in what’s being described as fruitful contract talks with the Bears, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, so much so that it could land on Saturday — the goal being to extend him before he takes the field against the New York Giants in 24 hours. The timing of this news couldn’t be worse for the Bears’ relationship with Robinson, and it’s now fair to wonder if this is what prompted the wideout’s agitation following the Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions.

As for Cohen, like Robinson it’s about the team not allowing him to hit free agency in 2021, with the former also entering the final year of his deal. The difference is this is a rookie deal for Cohen, and he’s set to earn just $2.13 million in base salary in 2020. A new deal would likely not change that number by much, if at all, but instead award him big money beginning next year. A former fourth-round pick in 2017, Cohen hasn’t been regarded as one of the best at his position, and that will make for an interesting valuation by the Bears front office. He is impactful as both a runner and a receiver though, having amassed 725 receiving yards in 2018 and 1,540 yards receiving in his first three seasons.

That said, Cohen’s not a bell cow, having never rushed for more than 450 yards in a season and just 213 yards and zero rushing touchdowns in 2019 in 16 games (11 starts). The honor of No. 1 back goes to David Montgomery, and these are all reasons why Cohen can’t command top dollar, which could be a reason a deal is apparently close to being done so quickly after talks began. Robinson, on the other hand, will command top-five money, making for a much more robust and lengthy conversation. 

Still, as far as optics go, the timing of potentially signing Cohen doesn’t exactly look great on the Bears.

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