There is a "chance" Chicago Bears' Alshon Jeffery hits free agent market

By Alex Butler  |  Feb. 19, 2016 at 3:42 PM
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CHICAGO, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- While many expect the Chicago Bears to franchise tag its star wide receiver, there is a chance Alshon Jeffery will be up for grabs, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

"#Bears tidbit: Assumption has been they'll tag WR Alshon Jeffery. I'm told no decision has been made & there's a chance he hits the market," Rapoport tweeted Friday.

Jeffery, 26, should expect to get something in the "same neighborhood" as Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas are being paid, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Pro Football Focus listed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and Cleveland Browns as teams that should target Jeffery.

ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson said last month that Jeffery is likely to stick with the Bears.

Jeffery was paid $960,157 in base salary last season, with a $50,000 workout bonus. Thomas and Bryant each signed five-year, $70 million deals in July.

"Obviously when Alshon played he was explosive and a playmaker for our offense," Bears general manager Ryan Pace told Dickerson. "The previous two seasons he'd been healthy and highly productive. He was frustrated by his injuries. We were frustrated by his injuries. We got to get a better grasp of that. Part of the evaluation of a player is his injuries and his availability. We'll take that into account."

Jeffery made the Pro Bowl in 2013, but had just four touchdowns in nine games last season. He has 252 receptions for 3,728 yards and 24 touchdowns in four NFL seasons.

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