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What Justin Jefferson's new contract, exploding WR market means for Bears, DJ Moore

What Justin Jefferson's new contract, exploding WR market means for Bears, DJ Moore originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Justin Jefferson finally got his much-deserved reward Monday when the Minnesota Vikings signed the star wide receiver to a four-year, $140 million extension.

Jefferson's new deal will make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. The deal comes with $110 million guaranteed and an annual value of $35 million per year.

The top of the market is set.

Jefferson overtakes A.J. Brown ($32 million) as the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. His deal arrives before the expected new contracts for Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb and San Francisco 49ers star Brandon Aiyuk.

With Jefferson's new deal inked, the picture for an eventual contract extension for Bears wide receiver DJ Moore is starting to clarify.

After Jefferson's deal, Moore is now the 17th-ranked wide receiver in terms of annual average value at $20.6 million.

Moore signed a team-friendly extension with the Carolina Panthers prior to the March 2023 trade that sent him to the Bears.

Moore has two years left on his contract and will make $16 million per season in 2024 and 2025.

But after recording career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns last season, the 27-year-old is due for a new deal.

That extension is unlikely to come until next offseason. The Bears don't want to set the precedence of extending a player with two years left on his deal.

However, when the time for an extension does arrive, it's fair to expect Moore's deal to break into the top five and at least eclipse the three-year, $84.7 million extension the Miami Dolphins gave Jaylen Waddle. If Moore has another productive season with rookie quarterback Caleb Williams this fall, his deal could rival the three-year, $96 million extension the Philadelphia Eagles gave A.J. Brown.

He won’t match or exceed Jefferson’s AAV or total, but Moore’s extension should have him in the neighborhood as far as average annual value.

A rising tide lifts all boats and even if Moore doesn’t reach Jefferson’s number, the Vikings star’s deal certainly made his price tag go up before negotiations start with the Bears.

While the Moore extension is on the horizon, the Bears have another pressing wide receiver contract to attend to first.

Veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen is in the final year of his contract and has expressed interest in remaining with the Bears past the 2024 season.

“I think down the road," general manager Ryan Poles said in March about a potential extension for Allen. "I try to be intentional with the order that we do extensions, so we’ll review that and kind of see what our order looks like. But for what he stands for, I would love to have him long term.”

Poles has quickly revamped the Bears' offense in just over a year. He hasn't had to wade into the exploding wide receiver market yet, but he'll have to venture into those waters soon.

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