As we move forward in the NFL offseason, we are now in the franchise tag phase of the offseason. Teams use this tag to make sure the players they want to keep around, stay around, locking them up in one-year deals. One of the names expected to be tagged was Bears WR Alshon Jeffrey. Jeffrey is a rare receiver who had a down year last year but many expected him to be tagged, overlooking his down season for promising years. Well, that didn't happen as the Bears are unlikely to use their franchise on the star receiver.

Man with struggles

Alshon Jeffrey has been a man with many struggles the past two season.

He missed 11 games the past two season, nine in 2015 due to injuries, and the last four games of 2016 because he was suspended by the NFL for the substance abuse policy. He hasn't caught more than 70 balls since 2014 where he caught 85 passes. He has a combined 6 touchdowns in the last two season, with 2 coming from last season. He was once a star receiver, putting up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2014 and 2015. Jeffrey is second in franchise history with an average of 72.2 reception yards per game (minimum of 32 games started).

Jeffrey isn't to blame for his struggles, though, as the Bears have had their own QB carousel issues. They have started many QBs like Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Brian Hoyer.

Many QBs need to gain chemistry with their receivers, but if you have a different QB starting every week, it's hard for the QB and the receiver to get on the same page. That was the part of the problem for Jeffrey.

Where to now?

The big question for Jeffrey is where to now? It is a rare occurrence when a receiver of Alshon's caliber is open to the market, so many teams will be asking for his services.

He made it known he wants to a part of a contending team (I mean, who doesn't nowadays). That won't stop the bottom feeders of the league to try to lure him in with a great deal either. Jeffrey probably will get a big deal, despite his below-par seasons. Many teams will give him the benefit of the doubt, believing he will return to the dominant receiver he was if under the right circumstances.

As for the Bears, they will be left with zero reliability at receiver. They still have their first-round pick Kevin White, but he has been dealing with leg problems ever since he has been in the league. Their other receivers have been either plagued by injuries or aren't ready to be a No. 1 receiver. The Bears have a lack of depth in all areas, but their biggest will now be a receiver. The will need to be aggressive in free agency or in the draft, hoping to land themselves a close replacement to Alshon Jeffrey.

Follow the page NFL
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!