Early this morning, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Chicago Bears will not use their franchise tag on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for the 2nd consecutive season. Shortly thereafter, ESPN Bears’ beat reporter Jeff Dickerson, confirmed the report. A 2nd franchise tag would have been in the neighborhood of $17 million and that appears to be too much for general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears.
While this doesn’t completely close the door on the 27 year old Jeffery returning, it does make it more likely he’s allowed to walk as a free agent on March 9. He’ll no doubt be the top wide out on the market and if a bidding war ensues, he may get the “elite” WR money he’s looking. Expect the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams to be a couple of teams interested.
Last year, when Jeffery played on the franchise tag, it was assumed he was playing to prove his worth to the team. He managed to stay healthy, but a 4 game PED suspension clouded his 12016 campaign. He ended up with 52 receptions, 821 yards (15.8avg) and 2 touchdowns in 12 games.
Do you guys think Jeffery has played his last game as a Bear?