According to Cole, Chicago has “little desire” to work out a long-term deal with Jeffery. However, the Bears are reportedly concerned about whether White will ever be able to stay healthy for a full season, and Cole believes this could back the team into a corner regarding Jeffery.
Despite some buzz that the Bears were working on a long-term deal for Jeffery back in July, the deadline to negotiate with franchise players ultimately came and went without an agreement.
This means that Jeffery will once again be in position to test the open market in 2017 and he should be among the best available options, particularly at receiver.
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 has appeared in four games and caught 17 passes for 317 yards receiving and no touchdowns for the Bears. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 21 receiver out of 111 qualifying players.