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“Near Certainty” Alshon Jeffery Plays Out 2016 Season Under Franchise Tag

According to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, it’s a “near certainty” WR Alshon Jeffery will play out the 2016 season under the franchise tag.

Wiederer adds that there have been no indications that the Bears will push to get a long-term deal done with Jeffery this summer. Instead, Wiederer mentions that there are enough questions about Jeffery’s durability and fit in their offense that it’s worth seeing what he can do in 2016 before considering a massive contract extension.

Bears GM Ryan Pace has said that there has been an open line of communication with Jeffery’s representatives. Pace referred to conversations Jeffery’s reps as “cordial” and “productive.”

Even so, it appears as though Jeffery will once again be in position to test the free agent market in 2017.

Locking up Jeffery now could force the Bears to offer him a similar contract to the agreements signed by Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and A.J. Green last year.

Jeffery, 26, was taken in the second-round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Bears. He played out the 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.

Jeffery’s 2015 season ended with him appearing in nine games and recording 54 receptions for 807 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 10 receiver out of 119 qualifying players.

We’ll have more regarding a long-term extension for Jeffery as the news is available.