The following is everything I know about Alshon Jeffery’s current status and future with the Chicago Bears. It is based on conversations with individuals in three different organization, none the Bears, and some local confirmations.
What’s important to note is that I believe I’ve been wrong about how the Bears value Jeffery. I’ve argued they don’t see him as a top tier receiver. At least as of early 2016, they did. I think this deal gets done.
ON THIS EPISODE OF THE (Abbreviated) WEEKEND SHOW:
Tag him. Jeffery is too talented a player to let walk out the door but too erratic to give big money. Tagging him guarantees the Bears will have one top tier receiver in 2017 and keeps the window open for an extension should Jeffery mesh well with whomever is playing quarterback next season.
If you follow a losing team long enough, the crappy seasons tend to all blend together. But if the 2016 Chicago Bears want to be remembered, they can make it happen this week by beating the Packers.
The Bears have been a losing team for most of my life, but there are a few teams I remember fondly. I remember the 2003 team because Charles Tillman ripped a pass out of Randy Moss’ hands and cost the Vikings a playoff berth. I remember Brian Urlacher running all alone down the field after intercepting Brett Favre in a 35-7 Bears win in 2007. I remember the 2015 Bears beating all odds by beating the Packers on Thanksgiving when Favre was being honored at halftime.
Those are the bad teams I remember positively and this year’s team has a chance to join them.
Alshon Jeffery is a terrific wide receiver. He is a true number one option on the outside. But he’s not Odell Beckham. He’s not Julio Jones. He’s not a game-changing talent. And that makes his future with the Bears difficult to discern. More thoughts:
One thing is certain. If Jeffery returns in 2017 he needs to be more available. With the power run game in place, Jeffery’s ability to win over the top on play action could provide him the stage for his most productive season. Of course, it depends on who is playing quarterback.
It was a not a good game. It was difficult on the eyes. And there were a lot of reasons for that. Rapid fire…
On the Weekend Show:
You know you wanted it!
You know you missed it!
Here it comes!
The return of Audibles!
On April 22nd 1995, the day Rashaan Salaam was drafted by the Chicago Bears, I was playing Little League baseball in Kearny, New Jersey. For younger readers, the draft did not used to be a prime time affair. It was a two-day, all weekend long, NFL fanatic binge experience the likes of which the league has never duplicated. It was amazing.
There were four Bears fans in Kearny. Me. Anthony Aiello. Phil Caputo. John Cali. Yes, I grew up in a place that had a few Italians. It’s also the town where about 75% of The Sopranos was shot. (My mother did the real estate deal with HBO for the property that became Satriale’s.) Three of the four of us were at a place called Gunnell Oval – a large park area with six baseball fields – when Salaam became a Bear.
You know that scene in That Thing You Do! where the members of The Oneders run through the streets of town at the shear excitement of hearing their track on the radio? That’s what the Salaam pick was like in Kearny. We thought, none of us older than 17 at the time, this pick was going to change the franchise. We thought a Super Bowl was near.
It didn’t come to pass but I like to think I’m still that 13 year-old kid down the Oval, endlessly believing greatness is just one draft pick away.
Rashaan Salaam died of an apparent suicide at the age of forty-two. Our love goes out to his family and all the people in his life. Too many young men who’ve played this game we love have left the world too soon.
Mike Mulligan, not known to make shit up, shocked many Bears fans with a bit of a bombshell late Tuesday: