Alshon Jeffery is expected to hit the open market when 2017 NFL free agency begins on March 9. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reports the Chicago Bears will not use the franchise tag on Jeffery for the second year in a row. Mike Garafolo adds Jeffery and the Bears haven’t had any contract discussions lately.
Jeffery, who turned 27 this month, is arguably the best pass catcher available in free agency this year. He’s expected to draw interest from many teams around the league, including the Eagles. It’s hardly a secret Philadelphia needs immediate help at wide receiver.
Earlier this offseason, CBS reported the Eagles will “be in on” Jeffery in free agency. There was also some talk about Philadelphia being interested in Jeffery prior to the 2016 NFL trade deadline. Odds-makers, meanwhile, seem to think the Eagles have the best chances of signing Jeffery if he doesn’t end up staying in Chicago.
Jeffrey has some notable connections to the Eagles. He had two of his best seasons in Chicago under now-Eagles wide receiver coach Mike Groh. Jeffery also overlapped with Philadelphia’s vice president of player personnel, Joe Douglas, who was with the Bears for a year.
Signing Jeffery would constitute as a big splash for the Eagles. The impending free agent is expected to receive a big pay day. NFL insider Adam Schefter recently mused Jeffery could draw contract offers worth up to $16 million per year.
Jeffery ultimately might be too expensive to make sense for the Eagles, who are limited on cap space. Not to mention the risk of a 10-game suspension if he gets suspended for PEDs again.
Still, Jeffery making it to the market gives the Eagles one more option at a position of need in free agency. The team will have to determine if Jeffery is worth the price tag to help out Carson Wentz.