LAKE FOREST – One of the details which Matt Nagy would point out often when talking about the Bears’ OTA workouts the past month was the fact that they were mandatory.
Whether they thought a players should be there or not didn’t matter, because they didn’t have to be if they felt working out somewhere else better suited them.
But that’s not the case this week for Nagy or the Bears.
This mini-camp at Halas Hall starting on Tuesday is mandatory, with every player expected to be in attendance unless they receiver an excused absence. Hence it’s always an interesting to see if there are some players who decided not to participate even though they could be fined.
One of those who chose to do so is defensive lineman Eddie Goldman, who opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nagy spoke with him this week and expects him to be at Halas Hall for training camp in late July, but his absence from mini-camp is not an excused one.
Meanwhile, Allen Robinson was at team headquarters to begin work on Tuesday for the three-week camp. The receiver has been trying to get a long-term deal from the team since last fall, but neither side could reach and agreement, which necessitated the Bears using their franchise tag on Robinson.
Despite some of the striffe of not getting a long-term deal done, the receiver signed the franchise tag, and made his first offeseason appearance Tuesday morning.
“It was really good. You guys know that I have a really good relationship with ‘A-Rob’ and anytime you have that quality of player that shows back up and gets out here in the huddle, and just that experience that he brings,” said Nagy when asked about Robinson being a mini-camp. “He has such a quiet calm and confidence to him that you could see the guys out there throwing him the football and the things he’s doing.
“He just slides right in.”
No matter who ends up taking the bulk of the snaps for the Bears this year – either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields – having Robinson around is certainly going to help. Despite struggles at the quarterback the last two seasons, he’s caught 200 passes in that time with 2,397 yards and 13 touchdowns in 32 games.
He enters the final year of his contract in 2021 with the Bears, and according to Nagy, he already looks ready.
“The one sneaky thing about ‘A-Rob’ that I think is pretty cool that, number one, even if he’s not here, you know that he’s working his tail off, and number two, man, he’s always in great shape, and we noticed that today,” said Nagy.