Chicago Bears Logic and Lunacy: Trading Alshon Jeffery

Chicago Bears Logic and Lunacy: Trading Alshon Jeffery

Entertaining big questions about the future is part of life for every team, including the Chicago Bears.  So here’s one.  Would they trade Alshon Jeffery?

Why the idea is lunacy

Jeffery and Brandon Marshall Form the Best WR Duo in Football

Facts are facts.  Jeffery, together with veteran Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall formed the most dangerous receiving tandem in the NFL last season, combining for over 2,700 yards and 19 touchdowns.  Keep in mind five of those games had a backup quarterback throwing it to them.  Why would the Bears break such a thing up?

Marc Trestman Wants Jeffery to Carry on Marshall Teachings

Part of long-term success in pro football is being able to establish a tradition and then instilling it from one generation to the next.  Brandon Marshall has embraced this role by making it his personal mission to turn Jeffery into the best receiver he can be.  That includes off-season training, constant playbook work, extra time running routes and so on.  This way by the time Marshall calls it a career, Jeffery will be atune to those ways and be able to pass it on to the next batch of young receivers.

He Has Franchise Player Ability and No Off-The-Field Problems

The term gets thrown around a lot about somebody being a “franchise” player.  There can be many interpretations but in the simplest terms it’s somebody who can carry the future of the organization on his shoulders.  Jeffery is only in his third year at age 24 and already been to his first Pro Bowl, takes good care of his body and has no off-the-field problems to speak of.  That is the kind of player and personality Chicago would want representing them for the next decade.

Why the idea is logical

Jeffery Is a Free Agent in 2016

The great equalizer in every scenario is money.  Alshon Jeffery certainly will demand top dollar if he repeats what he did in 2013.  He becomes a free agent in 2016.  On average, elite wide receivers make somewhere between $10-15 million.  Marshall is into his 30s and holds a $9.375 million salary cap hit for 2014.  That figures to be larger with Jeffery, who is entering his prime.  Even if he took a team-friendly deal, which is never guaranteed, that is a lot of cash centered into just two players at the same position.

Minnesota Vikings Yielded Big Gains For Percy Harvin

Part of any business acumen is buying when value is low and selling when it’s high.  The best example to use in gauging a Jeffery trade scenario is recalling what the Minnesota Vikings got for Percy Harvin.  At the time of the deal, he was 25-years old so the long-term aspects were still good.  He has loads of speed and playmaking ability on offense and special teams.  However, he also came with red flags including locker room problems and injury concerns (he missed seven games in 2012).

Even then the Vikings got 1st and 7th rounders in the ’13 draft and a 3rd rounder in the ’14 draft via the Seattle Seahawks.  That 1st round pick became cornerback Xavier Floyd who is viewed as the best on their roster.  The deal also gave the Vikings enough ammunition to trade back up into the 1st round where they landed receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who is widely seen as a future superstar.

If Minnesota got that much for an injury prone malcontent like Harvin, what could Chicago possibly haul in for Jeffery who is bigger (6’3″ to 5’11”), stronger, has better hands, and no locker room history?

Strong 2015 Draft Class of Receivers

Spurning this idea further are the prospects of being able to fill in the hole he leaves right away.  The 2015 NFL draft class is looking awfully strong at the receiver position with six players projected as possible 1st round picks in the early going.  Three of the current six such as Kevin White, Jaelen Strong and Dorial Green-Beckham have similar advantages Jeffery brings such as size, hands and speed.  GM Phil Emery could use one of the package of picks he’s likely to receive to land one and then use the rest to continue building the roster (i.e. the defense).

Logical or Lunacy?

So there it is.  The question is asked.  Should or would the Chicago Bears trade Alshon Jeffery before he becomes a free agent?

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