According to a report form ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chicago Bears will use the franchise tag on soon to be free agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Hardly a surprise, but Bears are placing franchise tag on WR Alshon Jeffery, per team source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 26, 2016
The team will continue trying to negotiate a long-term contract with Jeffery, but are hedging their bets and ensuring that they don’t lose their top receiver in free agency. The franchise tag means that the Bears have until July 15th to get a long-term deal with the receiver. After that point, Jeffrey will need to either sign the franchise tender or sit on the sidelines.
Chicago hopes that the negotiations will lead to fruit and Bears general manager Ryan Pace indicated that he hoped the tag would be a last resort in negotiations.
“We’re actively and aggressively negotiating right now,” Pace said. “And the deadline is Tuesday for the franchise tag. That’s an option. We have until Tuesday to make that decision. And right now, that’s kind of ongoing.”
“I sense he wants to be here,” Pace said. “We’re the team who drafted him. He loves the city of Chicago. He’s comfortable in the offense and I sense he wants to be here.”
Jeffery caught 54 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns in just nine games for the Bears last season as he was limited because of injuries, mainly to his hamstring. He suffered the injury prior to the season, and missed all four preseason games. He was generally week-to-week throughout the season before finally being shut down in December.
Earlier in the off-season, the Bears said goodbye to long-time running back Matt Forte, indicating that they would not be making an offer to keep the soon to be free agent.
Main Photo: SAN DIEGO, CA – NOVEMBER 09: Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears makes a reception against the San Diego Chargers defense at Qualcomm Stadium on November 9, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)