Alshon Jeffery Reportedly Looking for Deal Near the Top of the Market

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Alshon Jeffery Reportedly Looking for Deal Near the Top of the Market

Chicago Bears

In just a little over 24 hours, eligible players will become free agents. Thanks to a decision not to slap him with the franchise tag for a second consecutive year, the Bears have allowed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to be among the ranks of those eligible players. Where things go from here, no one can quite say for certain.

The door is not closed on a reunion with the Bears, as the two sides have reportedly already had a productive meeting, and the process here in free agency could be largely about allow Jeffery to get a gauge of his value on the open market, rather than about Jeffery definitely leaving for a new team.

To that end, when he does get out there, what will Jeffery find his value to be?

Well, we know that it’s going to be in the eight digits, at a minimum:

There are only 13 wide receivers whose current deals are for an average of more than $10 million per season, so exceeding that level will already put Jeffery in elite company.

But he may want to be even further up near the top of the market:

A deal worth $72.5 million over five years would put Jeffery at a $14.5 million AAV, topping all but Antonio Brown’s recent extension with the Steelers, and A.J. Green’s deal with the Bengals. Each of those deals came with less than $33 million guaranteed, as well – only Demaryius Thomas ($35 million) and Julio Jones ($35.5 million) received more. The highest total dollar deal right now is Jones’, at $71.256 million over five years.

In other words, if these rumored figures are accurate, Jeffery will seek to be one of the four or five highest-paid wide receivers in football, no matter how you break down the contract. Free agency obviously skews numbers northward, but, even still, after down 2015 and 2016 campaigns for various reasons, it’s hard to see Jeffery reaching that level.

The next tier of receiver signings in recent years – think Jeremy Maclin, Doug Baldwin, Keenan Allen types – were right around $11 million AAV, with about $20 to $25 million guaranteed. It seems like Jeffery will be able to top those deals, perhaps settling somewhere in the middle between that range and the contracts at the very top of the market.

We’ll find out soon enough.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.