It would cost Chicago over $17 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season to do so, which includes a 20 percent raise over the normal tag figure for a receiver because they franchised him last year.
Jeffery is now in a position to reach the open market and Rapoport expects him to generate “lots of buzz” at the upcoming Scouting Combine.
One team to watch for Jeffery will be the Eagles, who could really use a receiver with his size.
Jeffery, 26, was taken in the second-round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Bears. He played out the final year of his four-year, $4.54 million rookie contract that included a $1.74 million signing bonus before receiving the team’s franchise tag.
The franchise tag will run the Bears $14.599 million guaranteed for the 2016 season.
In 2016, Jeffery appeared in 12 games and caught 52 passes for 821 yards receiving and two touchdowns for the Bears. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 33 receiver out of 115 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.