Alshon Jeffery is not one of the top 5 WRs in the game.
Just because Chicago is starved for a superstar doesn’t make the best WR on the team a superstar. It’s possible to just be the tallest midget in Chicago. To justify top 5 money, Jeffery should be top 5 in something quantifiable, or have a combination of stats that make his case. Proven value, right? Simply put, he’s not even close.
Among wide receivers last year, Jeffery does not come close to top 5 production. Last year Jeffery was:
- 56th in receptions
- 74th in reception percentage
- 40th in yards
- 14th in yards per reception
- 92nd in TDs
Jeffery supporters will say, “But that’s only because he missed games.” Wrong. Even if his stats are extrapolated for the extra four games, disregarding the WRs who outperformed him and also missed time, Jeffery didn’t have top 5 production.
The percentages stay the same, but the meat and potatoes of WR stats (i.e. catches, yards, TDs) don’t look that much better:
- 29th (tie) in receptions
- 13th in yards
- 59th (tie) in TDs
Statistics don’t always tell the entire picture, but a team that invests $17M per year on a WR should expect a little more than the receptions of Adam Humphries, the yards of Jamison Crowder, one fewer TD than the fourth Dallas WR, and a player whose reception percentage has fallen for four straight years.
Guys like Antonio Brown deserve the franchise tag. Brown’s production makes Jeffery’s look laughable by comparison. If Jeffery had just put up his fourth straight monster year, averaging 120 receptions, 1578 yards, and 10 TDs per year, every Chicago Bear fan would be on board. There’d be a “Please Tag Alshon” GoFundMe page. There would be a billboard outside Halas Hall with nothing but Jeffery’s smiling face, his stats, and the available cap space.
Disappointingly, however, Alshon Jeffery just doesn’t have those stats.