1) Allen Robinson to Chicago Bears
No team had a more glaring hole on the wide receiver depth chart heading into free agency than the Bears. Chicago was set to return a cast of unproven entities with a series of questions about their health. A big move at the position was destined to come.
Early Thursday morning, that move came. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Allen Robinson plans to sign with the Chicago Bears when free agency officially opens on Wednesday. The Bears will ink a No. 1 wide receiver for young QB Mitch Trubisky, while Robinson joins a team ready to make him a key piece in its offensive evolution.
Last season, the Bears fielded an offense stuck in the mud of an era long since gone by in the NFL. Ultra-conservative passing supplemented the run-first, grind-it-out approach favored by John Fox-coached teams. Chicago decided to hit hyperdrive and accelerate into the 21st century with a pair of coaching hires. The team tapped former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy to be its head coach and play-caller. Nagy brought former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich to sit at his right hand as offensive coordinator. Both men were known for up-tempo, progressive spread offenses at their previous stops.
The way Nagy and Helfrich approach offensive design is a major reason why the Robinson signing is a tremendous fit. One of the biggest culprits in Robinson’s down 2016 season lied in where he was targeted. Far too many of his 151 targets came on low-percentage throws deep down the sideline, as Next Gen Stats shows in the chart below.
The loss of use inside the middle of the field induced over 50 of Robinson’s objectives in 2016 to come back on plays wherein he had less than a yard of separation. That’s the most for any wide receiver over the last seasons. If Nagy designs a comparable offense to the only hired through the Chiefs during his tenure as offensive coordinator, so as to not be a difficulty in Chicago. As Next Gen Stats quantifies inside the chart under, no crew created more space for its wideouts than Kansas City the closing seasons.
While the 2016 Jaguars ranked 30th in huge receiver separation at the factor of the quarterback’s release, the Chiefs led the league with three. Sixty-three and three.59 yards the past two seasons. Robinson ought to locate some distance more high-percent objectives coming his way in Chicago.
Creating more area with “layup throws” for Trubisky changed into already going to be a priority for the Bears in 2018. Most count on them to observe the Sean McVay plan. As a rookie in 2016, Jared Goff’s tight-window throw fee turned into a league-excessive 25.9 percent. In McVay’s first season on the helm in Los Angeles, that parent came down to 14.Three percent (thirty-first). In 2017, Trubisky completed thirteenth in tight-window throw charge (18.8 percentage). That went poorly, with a 27.3 passer rating. It’s an easy assessment to make, and a similar plan could set Trubisky at the same rebound route Goff strolled down in his second season.
Nagy and Helfrich had been already set to create a greater favorable offense for their quarterback with their congruent unfold-offense philosophies. Now they have got discovered a No. 1 huge receiver who’s up to the project in supporting their efforts. The move is most effective made better with the aid of how desperately Robinson additionally needed to discover a crew equipped to apply his abilities in a greater greenway.