There’s little doubt Alshon Jeffery is the best playmaker on the Chicago Bears and that the team would like to keep him for a long time. However, the financial aspect of the NFL means there’s a good chance he won’t sign a long-term deal with the team this offseason.
Jeffery, who has averaged 82 yards per game over the last three seasons, is due to make $15 million through the franchise tag in 2015. However, he’s boycotting the OTAs for now as he can’t seem to sign a long-term deal with the Bears, not showing a whole lot of willingness to get a deal done.
The reason comes from Jeffery missing seven games last season. When he was healthy, he was one of the best wideouts in the NFL, averaging 89.7 yards per game and catching four touchdowns on 54 receptions and 807 yards. Jeffery, after a very productive three-year period, is expecting the kind of money Dez Bryant, Julio Jones. Demaryius Thomas and A.J. Green are making. In short – long term deal with $14 million or more per season.
The Bears want to see Jeffery bounce back from his injuries and give them his all for 16 games, and then “show him the money”. While there’s still time to work something out in the next six weeks, and Jeffery planning on getting back on the field once mandatory training sessions begin, a long term deal and contract are still impossible to spot.
Maybe this is better for Jeffery, entering his fifth NFL season. With the way the salary cap is rising, steeply, in recent years, playing 2016 on the franchise tender and then signing a long-term deal with the Bears or someone else, could be financially beneficial for him.
The Bears selected one wide receiver in the draft, but Daniel Braverman out of Western Michigan was a 7th round pick, and as such, it’s hard to believe the Bears are counting on him to offer Jeffery or anyone else serious competition. Not now at least.