Free agent Alshon Jeffery to Chicago?
By: Ladarius Brown
Some teams are looking for depth on their rosters as a means for either competition or needs. To be more precise, the Bears could use some at the WR position. Last season, HC Matt Nagy’s team had the 8th most passing attempts but were 22nd in the league in receiving yards with 3,925. Now that they have drafted their QB of the future in Justin Fields, they need weapons. One potential option is one of their best WRs over the last 20 years: Alshon Jeffrey. Here are a few reasons why GM Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy need to bring him back.
A Complementary WR for Allen Robinson
Since joining the team back in 2018 after four years with the Jaguars, Robinson has 3,151 receiving yards. This is slightly over the double the next WR in that same stretch with the team: Anthony Miller with 1,564. As you can see, there is a discrepancy between the No. 1 & 2 WRs on the team.
At this point in his career, Jeffery can be a No. 3, maybe a No. 2 guy in this league because he was a solid No. WRs for these same Bears. From 2012 to 2016, Jeffery had 4549 receiving yards and 26 TDs with the team. Since then, his production has been reduced by over less than half. With the Eagles, he had 2,237 receiving yards with 20 TDs in four years.
A combination of Robinson & Jeffrey can be formidable, especially if Jeffrey can reach anywhere near his 1st time in Chicago.
Bears Depth at WR
When looking at the WRs projected to make the Bears 53-man roster, it is an interesting mix: Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller, Javon Wims, and Dazz Newsome. The WR core, outside of Robinson, is young. Mooney is entering year two, Miller and Wims are entering year 3, and Newsome is their 6th round pick out of North Carolina. Adding a veteran like Jeffery gives this core much-needed experience.
Jeffery has nine years of NFL experience under his belt and deserves to hit a decade. As mentioned, he still has enough to compete in the league while being a mentor as well. It gives Nagy a player who he can lean on in this offense and be an on-field coach. Injuries have derailed him but he can still contribute to this team.
Low Risk, High Reward
Back in 2017, he signed a 4 yr./$52 million extension with the Eagles. Fast forward to March of this year, he was given a post-June 1st release. If I told you that you can sign a player who averages 14.3 yards per reception and started in 89% of their games, you would be interested. Throw in he is 31 years old is and you sign him to a 1 yr./$8-9 million deal while making over $20 million last year.
Currently, the Bears are in the red cap space-wise but if they can restructure a few deals of their veteran players like Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, and Nick Foles, it would help. Plus, cutting TE Jimmy Graham would give them the space to sign Jeffery.
If he can play anywhere near those five years in his previous time with the Bears, it is a great signing. However, if you get the Eagles version of Jeffery, no big deal. Overall, he is well worth the risk.