The Chicago Bears started OTAs today, which are also voluntary, but they didn’t have their number one wide receiver with them. Alshon Jeffery is currently signed under a franchise tag which means he will likely be a free agent next season unless he signs an extension or gets franchised again.
Jeffery is reportedly working out in Miami, and has been absent from the team since the season ended. There has been a growing concern that Jeffery wants an extension to make him a top paid receiver, but the Bears are content to let him play out 2016 under the franchise tag. He missed almost half the season last year with soft tissue injuries, some blamed it on his physical preparation for the season, others blamed it on unhappiness in Chicago. His workouts in Miami are said to be the solution to this.
In any case though, he’s not with his team but his agent says there’s no contract dispute.
“Alshon is getting in great shape, and he will certainly be with his team for mandatory activities, ” Dandy said through text message. “There is no contract dispute. Alshon is under contract. He signed the tag, so no dispute.”
Well, if there’s no contract dispute will Jeffery be reporting to the mandatory activities? His agent says yes.
Ryan Pace and John Fox have indicated a couple times that they’d like to see him at Halas Hall but they understand the NFL is a business.
“In a perfect world, we’d like him here with his teammates and building those relationships, ” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said then. “But I also understand that it’s voluntary, and that’s the option he’s taken.”
Added Bears coach John Fox: “I’ve talked with Alshon, he understands how I feel.”
Jeffery was graded out as the best player on the Chicago Bears last season earning an “elite” level score of 94.2 from Pro Football Focus. That ranked him as a top five skill player in the league, Pace and company will likely be watching Jeffery very closely when he does finally report to the team… when he’s forced to.
The good news is his agent did say he will be reporting…