The Chicago Bears will not be allowing their best player, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, to hit the open market. Jeffery, whose rookie contract is set to expire, is not going anywhere.
“We’re actively and aggressively negotiating right now,” GM Ryan Pace said this morning at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.
Pace also said he's not afraid to use the franchise tag on Jeffery, which would then give the team until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.
“And the deadline is Tuesday for the franchise tag. That’s an option," said Pace. "We have until Tuesday to make that decision. And right now, that’s kind of ongoing.”
If the Bears tag Jeffery and a long-term deal does not materialize before July 15, he'd play the 2016 season at a projected $14.5 million.
There have been recent rumors as to whether or not Jeffery wants to return to the Bears, with some speculating he wants out of Chicago. Pace said that's not the case.
“I’ve heard that. I sense he wants to be here," he said. "We’re the team that drafted him. He loves the city of Chicago. He’s comfortable in the offense and I sense that he wants to be here.”
Jeffery, a two-time Pro Bowler, is coming off an injury riddled 2015 campaign, yet if he were to hit the open market, numerous teams would be vying for his top-tier pass-catching ability. Yet it appears the odds of him actually getting the chance to test the market are slim to none.