This was the expected move by the Chicago Bears, but today they made it official by using their franchise tag designation on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Bears now have until July 15th to work out a long term contract with Jeffery, otherwise he will play 2016 for $14,599,000. That's not too shabby a paycheck, but Jeffery would no doubt want the stability and guaranteed money that comes with a multi-year deal. Last year Jeffery made $1,447,036 in the 4th year of his rookie contract.
Since 2013, his 2nd year as a pro, Jeffery is 9th in the NFL in receiving yards (3,361) and tied for 14th in receiving touchdowns (21) in 41 games played (38 starts).
Injuries may have prevented Jeffery from playing in 7 games during the 2015 season, but from 2013 to 2014 he played in all 32 games and was named to the 2013 Pro Bowl.
The Bears didn't specify if they were using the exclusive or the non-exclusive tag, but either way there's no chance the Bears are allowing Jeffery to walk away this offseason. It is being reported by various reporters that the Bears are using the "non-exclusive" tag, meaning another team can offer Jeffery a contract, but the Bears have the right to match it. If they decide to not match, the other team must give the Bears 2 1st round draft picks a compensation.