Will they or won’t they?
That is the question on everyone’s mind with regards to the Chicago Bears’ decision on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery’s future. When healthy, Jeffery has been the team’s most productive receiver (two 1,000-yard seasons), and would be a welcome addition to any team looking to improve upon its group of pass catchers. However, Jeffery hasn’t always been a perfect picture of health, and a PED suspension in 2016 clouds perception even further.
Jeffery, 26, is the most notable free agent the Bears could lose this offseason and, because a long-term extension hasn’t been agreed upon yet, the team risks losing him for the prime of his career.
Of course, there is one way around that scenario coming to fruition …
- With free agency less than a month away, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Jeffery could be tagged for a second time. “When you look at the number, more than $17 million dollars, this is an incredibly difficult decision for the Bears,” Rapoport said. “They need to win now, they want their good players, but are they willing to commit that much to their number one receiver?”
- Jeffery’s return would make life easier for whoever the next quarterback of the Bears is, whether it is a veteran given the task of being a placeholder, a rookie who would like to have Jeffery’s 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pound frame as a safety blanket, or someone else. But without Jeffery, the Bears would find themselves looking for a reliable receiver on top of their already lengthy list of needs.
- In case you’re curious, teams can begin extending the franchise tag on February 15 through 3 p.m. on March 1. You can check out the rest of the most important offseason dates here.
- If Jeffery hits free agency, expect the Philadelphia Eagles to make a push to sign him. James Neveau writes at Grizzly Detail that Philadelphia wouldn’t be the only team interested in Jeffery if he hits free agency, listing the Colts, Titans and Packers as potential suitors. Seeing Alshon Jeffery catch touchdown bombs from Aaron Rodgers would be the cruelest twist of fate.
- In case you missed it, Jeffery would actually be a perfect fit for what the Titans are doing because of his skills as a blocking receiver in Tennessee’s run-heavy offense – and obviously as a receiver potentially catching lobs from the up-and-coming Marcus Mariota.
- Would Adam Gase be interested in teaming Jeffery with quarterback Ryan Tannehill? Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post explains that while Miami might be stocked at receiver right now, there is reason to add a player of Jeffery’s caliber to the mix.
- The Seahawks could be a team lurking in the Alshon Jeffery Sweepstakes. Even though wide receiver isn’t the team’s biggest need, Daniel Williams of SeahawksWire suggests Jeffery as the top name to go after if the team was to go down that road. Seattle projects to have limited cap room and Jeffery would have to settle in as the second or third pass-catching option behind Doug Baldwin and/or Jimmy Graham to make this scenario work. It simply doesn’t seem like it would be in the cards at the salary Jeffery likely wants to earn next year and beyond.