Pay Cut

LAKE FOREST, IL - The Bears reached an agreement with wide receiver Marcus Robinson Wednesday to restructure the final two years of his contract. <p>

Robinson, the Bears all-time single-season record holder in receiving yards (1,400), accepted a reduced salary in 2002 with the option to void the final year (2003) of the contract if an unspecified number of receptions are reached. Robinson's agent Kenneth Sarnoff called the performance goals "easily attainable." The wideout will receive a $600,000 signing bonus this season with a base salary also around $600,000.

The original four-year $14.4 million deal, which included a $5 million signing bonus, was signed over the 2000 off-season after the South Carolina product's record-setting campaign in 1999. The move will save Chicago $1 million toward the salary cap this year. Robinson is confident he will be on the open market after this season.

"I feel I'm going to comeback stronger this year and I'm going to play very well and things are going to go my way and if things go my way I'll become a free agent," Robinson said.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo said both sides walked away happy with the contract compromise.

"When you go into them (negotiations) you never know for sure how it's going to workout, but in this case it worked out real well. Philosophically Marcus and his agent agreed with what we were trying to do and we both felt this was a win-win situation.

"In any negotiations there's going to be some give and take and we felt what Marcus' agent talked to us about was a fair proposition."

Robinson, originally drafted by the Bears in the fourth round of the 1997 draft, was named NFL Europe Offensive MVP after leading that league with 811 yards on 39 catches and five touchdowns in 1998. One year later he was named a first alternate for the NFC in the Pro Bowl after ranking second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL with 1,400 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 84 catches. He has led the Bears in receiving in two of the past three seasons and ranks 18th on the Bears' career receiving yards list with 2,451 yards and 23rd on Chicago's career catches chart with 166.

Robinson has been the focus of opposing defenses since having a breakout campaign in 1999. This year he will line up opposite of Marty Booker, who had a franchise record 100 receptions last season.

"Definitely Marty has done a great job and that will lead guys to say ‘we can play Marcus one on one now' and that'll give me an opportunity to showcase my talents again," Robinson said.

Robinson played in the first five games of the 2001 season before rupturing his anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments at Cincinnati on Oct. 21, 2001. He had five receptions for 50 yards at the time of the injury. Robinson was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 23, 2001, and finished the season with 23 catches for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Robinson missed five games during the 2000 season including the final three games on IR with a low back injury but still tied for the team lead with 55 catches. Despite his injury problems over the past two seasons Robinson remains positive about his future.

"Talking to the doctors (I'll be) playing a little in training camp, but I'll definitely be ready for the first game. "Play on the field will help make a statement that I'm not too worried about what people are saying as far as ‘are you durable'. My job is to go out there and play football for the Chicago Bears."

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