Bears give QB Trubisky new targets in Robinson and Burton
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears are set to sign Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton, giving quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some playmaking targets.
Robinson told ESPN he plans to sign a three-year, $42 million contract, while two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Tuesday that Burton is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to a $32 million, four-year deal.
Chicago also agreed to a deal with Atlanta Falcons receiver Taylor Gabriel, and Miami Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey also plans to sign with the Bears, people familiar with their situations said.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deals won’t be announced until the league year begins Wednesday.
The Bears also extended one-year tenders to receivers Cameron Meredith and Joshua Bellamy along with cornerback Bryce Callahan, giving them the right to match any offers they receive in free agency.
A 2015 Pro Bowl selection, Robinson was impressed by new Bears coach Matt Nagy and told ESPN, “I like what he did” as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Robinson also tweeted “What’s good Chicago!!!?” with a picture of himself in a Bulls game jersey on Tuesday.
The Bears were looking to upgrade their struggling receiving corps and give Trubisky more dependable targets.
The versatile Burton gets a chance to be the No. 1 tight end on the Bears after catching 23 passes for 248 yards and five TDs in Philadelphia’s championship season. He also threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles in the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over New England.
Robinson had a strong training camp last year and looked like he would be an integral part of the offense. But he tore the ACL in his left knee on Jacksonville’s third play of the season and had surgery the following week. The Jaguars went on to win the AFC South and advance to the conference title game.
Robinson has missed 21 games in four seasons, though Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said at the NFL scouting combine he is “right on schedule” in his recovery from the torn ACL.
A second-round draft pick from Penn State, Robinson has 202 catches for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games. He had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015, establishing himself as one of the best receivers in franchise history. His production dropped in 2016, with 73 receptions for 883 yards and six scores.
But at 24, he’s young and fills a big need for the rebuilding Bears. Chicago’s leading receiver last year was Kendall Wright with 59 receptions for 614 yards.
Gabriel had 33 catches for 378 yards and a touchdown last season. He has 132 receptions for 1,819 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with Atlanta and Cleveland.
The Bears are banking on Trubisky’s development to help them end a string of losing seasons. General manager Ryan Pace staked his reputation to the quarterback by trading up a spot with San Francisco last year to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick.
Parkey made 21 of 23 field goals in his lone season with Miami. He worked with new Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, after spending his first two years with the Eagles.
The Bears waived Connor Barth and signed Cairo Santos in November. Santos then suffered a season-ending groin injury, and Mike Nugent finished the season as Chicago’s kicker.
The Bears fired coach John Fox after going 5-11 and finishing last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. The Bears have missed the playoffs 10 of the past 11 seasons and have not finished with a winning record since 2012.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.