CHICAGO _ Allen Robinson said the social media scrub that had Chicago Bears fans in a tizzy Tuesday was a product of emotion as the wide receiver enters Week 2 of the season without a contract extension.
A day after Robinson deleted Bears references on his Twitter and Instagram accounts amid negotiations with the team, he spent a 10-minute video conference call with reporters Wednesday affirming his passion for playing for the Bears and saying his focus would remain on his on-field performance.
Robinson declined to address his representatives asking about a potential trade, as a source told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday they had, and he also declined to say what he sees as a deadline for negotiations. But he did say he and coach Matt Nagy had a "good and spirited" conversation about his status as the Bears prepare to play the New York Giants in Sunday's home opener.
"Putting yesterday behind and moving forward, the biggest thing is me focusing on playing, which I've been doing," Robinson said. "I know it's not going to be a distraction. The biggest thing is just going out there, trying to play my best, trying to ball out and keep trying to lead this offense. ... Everything in between the lines trumps everything."
It's unclear where the hold-up is in the negotiating process or how far apart the sides remain. Robinson, who is in the final year of a three-year, $42 million contract, said his feelings on the matter went beyond seeing other wide receivers, including DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen, recently receive big contracts.
Nagy twice indicated he has tried to sell Robinson on the idea that the Bears have a history of "taking care of guys" as the process plays out. He said he has "zero concern" that Robinson — who led the Bears with 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns last season — doesn't feel valued.
"He's a leader, he's a very important part of our team," Nagy said. "As far as the other part of it, that's not my world. That's on both sides to deal through that, but I think that our players all realize the history that we have here in regards to taking care of guys.
"And it was a really, really good talk that Allen and I had. When you have situations like this, it's only fair that both be able to talk. So hopefully he definitely feels good and he's confident that we want him to be here and that he wants to be here. That's really the ultimate goal in all of this."
Robinson said he didn't know what would come of his social media activity _ he was trending on Twitter by mid-morning — but he noticed and appreciated teammates and fans who called for the Bears to get to work on the extension.
Running back Tarik Cohen and wide receivers Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller all tweeted some form of #ExtendAR or #ExtendARob.
"Everybody knows how passionate I am about the game — the passion I've had for the city of Chicago and to put on this Bears uniform and everything like that," Robinson said. "I'm a passionate person. I know I may not show it on the sidelines and stuff like that, but the things that I believe in, I really do believe in. And that's just where that came from."
Robinson's coaches tout him as the ultimate professional, so it's no surprise that much of his interview was about staying focused on his duties on the field as negotiations unfold.
He said while the social media commotion played out Tuesday, he was watching film on the Giants and talking to wide receivers coach Mike Furrey about the game plan for Sunday. He detailed how he thought he played with too high of a pad level and wasn't fast enough at times against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, when he had five catches for 74 yards.
"Being in the NFL, you have the business of the NFL, so things do come up," Robinson said. "But for the most part, I'm able to keep the main thing the main thing always."
Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who extols Robinson's playmaking ability almost weekly, said he doesn't see the negotiations being as much of a distraction as they may seem on the outside.
"That's my guy," Trubisky said. "I know there is a lot of talk about his contract and all that, and hopefully they take care of him because me and the rest of the guys on the team want him around. That's very obvious. We all love A-Rob, and we know what he brings to this team. And they've just got to get that done so we can keep him around and continue to take care of business.
"But we're not worried about anything else because we know how Allen approaches the game and practice every single week. So in between the lines and in the locker room, everything has been the same. It's been awesome."
As for whether Robinson will remain a Bear, he answered a question about whether he at least would finish the season with the team by saying, "I would say so."
"My heart and spirit has never wavered as far as the city of Chicago and playing for this organization," Robinson said. "Obviously you dive into the business of the game and there's different variables that go into that. But how I feel about my teammates, how I feel about this team, how I feel about this city and everything like that has never wavered."
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