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One of the most physically imposing wide receivers in the NFL will very likely hit the open market next week.
Alshon Jeffery, the 6-foot-4, 230 pound former second-round pick, will reportedly not be designated as the Chicago Bears’ franchise player for 2017, meaning that barring a surprise long-term deal from Chicago, he will be a free agent for the first time.
It’s not a surprise that the Bears will be parting ways with Jeffery, the 45th pick in 2012; the team franchised him last year at a cost of $14.599 million, and under the rules of the tag, tagging him for a second straight year would mean paying 120 percent of that 2016 amount, or $17.519 million.
Jeffery was suspended for four games last season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancers, and he missed the final seven games of 2015 after being placed on injured reserve for a hamstring injury and other ailments.
In 12 games last year, Jeffrey totaled 52 catches (94 targets) for 821 yards and two touchdowns.
Using A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, T.Y. Hilton and Demaryius Thomas as comparables, the contract website Spotrac puts Jeffery’s market value at $12.2 million per year, or a five-year, $61 million contract.
Despite playing in just 63 games over five seasons, Jeffery ranks third in Bears history in receiving yards, with 4,549.