Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times answers the question, “Would you sign WR Alshon Jeffery to a long-term deal?”
“Yes, but I wouldn’t break the bank just yet, which is why it’s unlikely that the Bears will sign Jeffery to a long-term deal before July 15. They’re not ready to pay him top-of-the-market money until he proves he can stay healthy again. And the agent is unlikely to accept a second-tier deal because when Jeffery is healthy he’s one of the best receivers in football. It’s a prove-it year.”
My initial thought on this was that there would be a little more motivation than usual to get this contract done early so that Jeffery wouldn’t miss workouts. He has a history of soft tissue injury and there has been some dissatisfaction in the past about the way that he has kept himself in shape over the offseason.
But that’s all changed now. Signing the tender virtually assures that he won’t miss any workouts over the offseason and it’s much more likely that the Bears will wait until just before the July 15 deadline to get a long-term deal done. This is the standard procedure when it comes to the franchise tag because the deadline injects more urgency into the process. In addition, it will give the Bears a chance to wait and make sure that Jeffery is sticking with the program and to give themselves a bit more insurance that he’ll continue to do so from now on.