Looks like another top free agent will hit the actual market: Chicago Bears wide receiver is not expected to be franchise tagged, and it seems like the Bears aren’t close to getting a long-term contract done with him either. That according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
#Bears are not expected to franchise Alshon Jeffery again at > $17M, sources say. A top WR on the market will generate lots of buzz in Indy— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2017
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could take a look at Jeffery, what with their top need being wide receiver and all. He’s been limited to nine (due to injury) and twelve (due to suspension) games respectively the last two years, but did put up over 800 receiving yards in both.
The big, physical receiver is mostly a possession guy with the ability to make contested catches — a bit like Evans, with better after-the-catch ability and a little less speed. That style has worked for him, but perhaps doesn’t make him a great fit for the Bucs, who are mostly looking for speed at that position. Jeffery is many things, but he’s not a speedster at all.
There’s also the fact that he’s likely to break the bank, despite his being limited in recent years. And while the Bucs have plenty of cap space and don’t shy away from free agency, they have not gone after top-of-the-market free agents under Jason Licht, preferring to look at flawed players with upside instead.
Jeffery hitting the market does still help the Bucs in a different way, though: he may attract attention from teams that would otherwise go after players the Bucs are more likely to target, like DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon or Kenny Stills.