If the claim that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery made at the end of the 2016 season about the Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl next year comes true, there’s a good chance that he won’t be around to be a part of it. On Monday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Bears are not expected to use their franchise tag on the 27-year-old receiver.
The teams in the league have until March 1 to franchise a player. Seeing that the chance of Chicago tagging Jeffery is virtually out the window, the only way to lock up the 2012 second-round draft pick is to sign him to a long-team deal before the new league year starts on March 9. If that doesn’t happen, then Jeffery will be one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason, and there will definitely be teams willing to offer big money.
More from Chicago Bears News
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
Assuming that Jeffery does leave Chicago, the Bears will not only have a big question mark at their quarterback position for 2017, but also with who will be their starting receivers for next season. Kevin White, Eddie Royal, and Cameron Meredith will be the primary candidates in this scenario, but how dependable are they? White and Royal both were plagued with injuries over the past two years, while Meredith has only one productive season under his belt.
Will the possibility of Jeffery wearing a different helmet in 2017 force general manager Ryan Pace and the rest of the Bears’ brass to go after a wide receiver early in the 2017 NFL Draft or as soon as free agency starts? The answer to that question is still up in the air. What we do know is that since it appears that Chicago won’t waste their franchise tag on Jeffery, then if they seriously want to keep the one-time Pro Bowl receiver, then they must be ready to cut a huge check to outbid other teams for Jeffery’s services.