Last season, the Chicago Bears opted to use the franchise tag on former Pro Bowl wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. A four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy kept him off the field late in the season.
The Bears in 2016 protected their rights to Jeffery by using the tag.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound receiver out of SC has had injury concerns, but has shown when healthy that he can be a dynamic playmaker with back-to-back 1,000-yard plus receiving seasons in 2013 and 2014.
NFL Free Agency opens on March 9 and This Given Sunday is previewing the free agency class position by position.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been linked to the Bears' number one receiver since the trade deadline.
Furthermore, as I mentioned before, the pass-catching group as a whole without Jeffery looks very thin, with the oft-injured, still largely unknown Kevin White likely set to become the team's #1 receiver.
However, ESPN suggested that Jeffery is still a top receiver in the NFL. At 30, Garcon would have a chance to retire with the team with another extension and with Cousins would also have an opportunity to make a realistic run at some playoff appearances if the team can continue to hover above.500 football.
Through his first five seasons in the league with the Bears, Jeffery has established himself as one of the premier wide receiver talents.
The Los Angeles Rams spent a combined $131,712,181 on 24 free agents from 2014 to 2016, a figure that ranked 23rd among the 32 teams - and one that shouldn't really be all that surprising. That applies this year to Jeffery, whose price tag the Bears will let the market dictate.