Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery becomes a free agent this off-season and will have his first opportunity to test the open market. Jeffery today was noncommital about his future, saying it's up to his agent, Eugene Parker.
"I love the city of Chicago but however the situation goes, it’s a business," Jeffery said. "I’ll let my agent and Mr. Pace deal with that situation. I’ll let them deal with that. I just play football."
Jeffery said multiple times he loves Chicago but never specifically said he wants to return to the Bears.
"It’s not about the money. It’s about what the right situation is for me," he said. "When the time comes I’ll probably evaluate it but until then I just let them handle it."
Bears first-round rookie Kevin White, who shares the same agent as Jeffery, said he's politicking Parker to convince Jeffery to return next season.
"Oh yeah. Eugene knows," White said. "They want to get it done. Al wants to stay here, we want him to stay here so I think it'll be some good things happening on the field if he stays."
Jeffery said playing with White could create something special on the field next year.
"I think we’ll do something special," said Jeffery. "Hopefully it'll work out."
Jeffery missed seven games this season due to hamstring, ankle and groin injuries and finished the year on Injured Reserve. In nine games, he tallied 54 receptions for 804 yards and 4 TDs. It was his worst statistical performance of the past three seasons.
"I mean, it was frustrating here and there, but at the same time, it’s the game of football," he said. "You’re going to get injured. You’ve just got to weather the storm.
"I mean, if any of you guys run up and down this locker room, you’ll pull something. It just comes with the territory of playing football."
If a long-term deal can't be worked out, the Bears always have the franchise tag in their back pocket.
"If it happens, it happens," Jeffery said about the tag. "I just play football. I’ll let my agent and Mr. Pace figure that out."
If Jeffery does return next year, he sees a bright future for this team.
"I think we’ve got a great team," he said. "A lot of games this year we were right there. We lost games by like three or four points, so we were right there. We’ve just go to learn from it. Next year, we’ve just got to finish."
Whether or not Alshon will be there at the 2016 finish line will be decided over the next few months.