Strong 2013 and 2014 seasons keep the fires burning on Alshon Jeffery's Fantasy value, even though he disappointed in 2015 because of some injuries. Last year he delivered at least 10 Fantasy points in four of nine games, missing seven with a number of injuries that began with a calf strain suffered before the season. Still, the Bears used their franchise tag on him, proving they value his skill set. There isn't much doubt that Jeffery can work as a No. 1 receiver without a quality wideout working opposite of him, so the prospect of seeing him play with fellow wideout Kevin White is exciting. White's speed should force opponents to keep their coverage honest, giving Jeffery a real shot at dominating single coverage against smaller cornerbacks. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him regain his consistent pre-2015 form given the opportunities he'll have, so keep him penciled in as a low-end No. 1 Fantasy receiver. Bank on him getting selected before the end of Round 2 in every draft this summer.
Jeffery and the Bears are not expected to reach agreement on a long-term extension by Friday's deadline, so he's likely to play this season under the team's $14.6 million franchise tag, the Chicago Tribune reports. Jeffery is seeking a long-term deal comparable to some of the NFL's elite wideouts, but after he missed seven games last season due to various injuries, the Bears are understandably reluctant to reward him with a huge financial commitment. Even though Jeffery topped 85 catches, 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns while playing in a pass-happy offense in both 2013 and 2014, he managed just 54 receptions for 807 yards and four scores in a more balanced scheme last year. The presence of dynamic 2015 first-rounder Kevin White should place less pressure on Jeffery in the passing game this season, but he'll need to prove he can remain healthy and productive to earn the type of contract he desires.
Jeffery reported to the Bears' mandatory minicamp Monday, reports Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. This comes as no surprise, as Jeffery was expected to attend minicamp after signing his franchise tender on March 8. However, he opted to skip the volunteer portion of the offseason program, and spent his time training in Miami. Although he's seeking a long-term contract, multiple people with knowledge of the situation expect Jeffery to play this season on the tender he signed, and consider a new deal getting done by July 15 to be unlikely. Should he play on the tender, he'll be plenty motivated to be at his best this year, so that he can earn a big payday in free agency.
GM Ryan Pace relayed Wednesday that the Bears continue to negotiate with Jeffery on a long-term deal to keep the wideout with the team beyond 2016. Meanwhile, while the voluntary portion of the Bears' offseason program continues, Pace noted that Jeffery has been training in Florida. Given that Jeffery has already signed his franchise-tag tender with the Bears, his current absence from Halas Hall isn't really ominous and the wideout should be back with the team no later than June 14, when the Bears' mandatory minicamp begins.
Jeffery has signed his franchise tag tender with the Bears, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. With that detail taken care of, Jeffery is now in line to earn $14.599 million this coming season, though the Bears and the wideout also have until July 15 to potentially reach a long-term deal to keep him in the fold beyond 2016. Though injuries limited the wideout to nine contests this past season, Jeffery still managed to lead the team with 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns in that span. Per the report, Jeffery has been training this offseason at Jay Glazer's mixed-martial arts gym in California, with an eye toward helping the wideout avoid the sort of soft-tissue issues that hampered him in 2015. In any case, the 26-year-old pass-catcher is slated to continue in his role as QB Jay Cutler's top receiving weapon in the Chicago offense in 2016.
The Bears have placed their franchise tag on Jeffery. As a result, the Bears will keep the wideout from entering free agency, while Jeffery will be guaranteed a one-year contract worth $14.599 million for the coming campaign. Though various injuries limited Jeffery to nine games this past season, he still managed to lead the Bears with 54 receptions for 807 yards to go along with four touchdowns in that span. With a full offseason to heal up, Jeffery is now in line to reprise his role in 2016 as QB Jay Cutler's top pass-catching weapon in the Chicago offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/21||@Green Bay Packers||13||21.00|
|10||11/13||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27||24.63|
|11||11/20||@New York Giants||23||23.88|
|13||12/04||San Francisco 49ers||18||22.38|
|15||12/18||Green Bay Packers||13||21.00|
|3 Year Avg||129||76||1120||7||55||14.74||158|