NFL Rumors: Bears Won’t Franchise Tag Alshon Jeffery; Free Agency Likely

NFL teams in need of a wide receiver just got a new target to consider.

The Chicago Bears won’t place the franchise tag on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, making him a free agent if they don’t sign him to a long-term deal, ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson confirmed via a source Monday morning. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news.

It’s an expected move for the Bears, who paid Jeffery $14.6 million to play under the franchise tag last season but would have owed $17.5 million to tag him this year. Jeffery has had an underwhelming past two seasons, managing fewer than 850 receiving yards in both 2015 and 2016 and tallying just six total touchdowns over that span. He also missed a total of 11 games over those two seasons, sitting out four games in 2016 due to a suspension for PED use.

The 27-year-old wideout still should draw plenty of interest on the free agent market, though. At 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, he’s a legitimate deep threat and red zone target who posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2013 and 2014.

Rapoport cites the Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers as teams in need of a receiver who could open up their wallets to sign Jeffery.

Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images

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