- According to Cole, the Bears are upset that Jeffery did not attend offseason workouts and aren’t willing to invest the kind of money he’s seeking in a new contract.
- Cole says that Chicago would, instead, prefer to pay Jeffery as a mid-level receiver as opposed to the No. 1 receiver money he’s reportedly targeting.
- The Bears would reportedly prefer to invest big money in positions other than receiver, particularly on defense.
According to Rand Getlin of NFL Media, Bears WR Alshon Jeffery “firmly believes in the value he’s capable of bringing to the table” and is prepared to play out the 2016 season under the franchise tag if the two sides can’t get a deal done before next week’s deadline.
“There’s not a lot of confidence,” Garafalo said. “I sense that both sides really don’t feel strongly about this one. That’s because Alshon Jeffery’s got a $14.6 million tag. The Bears wanted to come in a couple of million below that.”
However, Garafolo says that the Bears still have some concerns about Jeffery’s durability.
The overall expectation has been that Jeffery will play out the 2016 season under the franchise tag and test the open market again next year. Although, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that a deal between the two sides is “certainly possible.”
The deadline to negotiate with franchise players is July 15 deadline.
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.