With the current state of the Chicago Bears, and the impending off-season, it’s time to take a look at a piece of the offense that has garnered some recent headlines.
Currently, Jeffery is playing under the franchise tag at a value of $14,599,000. After sitting for a 4 game suspension for violating league policy, Jeffery’s total pay will be reduced by $3,435,058. Which, when put into context, is $11,163,942 for each touchdown this year. ß Special sarcasm today is brought to you by the letters PED.
After having far-outperformed his rookie contract, wherein his total payout was $4,547,830. A small pittance considering he posted 252 receptions, 24 TD’s and over 3700 yards receiving.
The challenge in figuring what the future contract discussions should bring does not lie in his ability. We’ve seen no small sample of what he can do when he is a part of the game plan (looking at you Loggains). His value also cannot be ascertained in his health, as he has only missed 11 games in 4.5 years. The challenge remains in what he can bring to the table for the Bears of 2017 and beyond.
Every contract is a combination of "what have you done;" consider this like getting back pay from your job when a raise is withheld; and a "what will you do" equation. The "what will you do" portion is for the front office to figure out as they analyze what will be the team identity moving forward. Thankfully, we have stats to determine his "what have you done."
So off to stat world we go!
In his first 4 years in the league, he posted over 3500yds receiving, 20 TD’s and 200 receptions – so I will use this as the benchmark, as it is his benchmark. The stats don’t lie. Jeffery has been quite productive. Here are a few bullet points to consider:
Since 1990, 885 WRs have been drafted.
Of those 885 WRs, only 34 players have met this benchmark in their first 4 years.
That puts Alshon Jeffery in the top 3.84% of all WRs drafted.
When sorted by receptions, he ranks in between Darrell Jackson/Greg Jennings.
When sorted by yards, he ends up between Dwayne Bowe/Lee Evans.
When sorted by TD’s, he lands between TY Hilton and Bert Emanuel
However, one final thing to consider is his per game production. Through his first 4 years, Jeffery has put up a per game stat line of 4.94 receptions, 73 yards, and .47 touchdowns. Over a 16 game season that equates to 79/1169/7.5 respectively. This production through the first 4 years of a career puts him on track with only one man since 1990 – Isaac Bruce.
What does all this mean? Putting him in the top 3.84% of all WR contracts (212 active WRs) would put him in the top 8 contracts. The current top 8 WR contracts for people not named Alshon Jeffery are as follows:
AJ Green 4yr/$60,000,000
Julio Jones 5yr/$71,250,000
Demaryius Thomas 5yr/$70,000,000
Dez Bryant 5yr/$70,000,000
TY Hilton 5yr/$65,000,000
Doug Baldwin 4yr/46,000,000
Keenan Allen 4yr/$45,000,000
Vincent Jackson 5yr/$55,555,555
His value certainly indicates a contract and dollar amount in the TY Hilton range. But as far as what he is worth? That is for the front office to decide. For what it’s worth, the last receiver the Bears had that put up those kind of numbers and was not named Brandon Marshall – Marcus Robinson (1999).