Where Will Alshon Jeffery End Up After Free Agency?
With the NFL Combine coming to a close this week, that leaves free agency right around the corner. Arguably the biggest name set to be available is Chicago Bears receiver, Alshon Jeffery. After the Bears declined to place the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive year it looks as though the Pro Bowl pass catcher can have a new home next season. When healthy, Jeffery can quite simply take over a football game and dominate. The problem, however, is the healthy part. Over the past two seasons, Jeffery has missed 7 games due to injury and another 4 for a suspension. Nonetheless, the NFL is becoming an air raid more and more and Jeffery is going to be highly sought after once free agency kicks off. If the Bears are unable to get a deal done, here are 3 teams that can sign the big play wide out:
Remember 4 or 5 games into the season last year and Carson Wentz looked like he was going to take the league by storm and lead the Eagles to the promise land? Well, that didn’t quite pan out. Wentz, like many rookies, began to run into some struggles as the season wore on. the Eagles finished 24th last season in pass yards per game with 224.1. Wentz will continue to grow and get better and bringing in a top receiver like Jeffery can help that process for sure.
The Eagles are desperately looking for a wide out to start opposite of the young promising Jordan Mathews. Adding Jeffery in the mix with him and Zach Ertz and the Eagles start to look a little intimidating through the air. The Eagles are also in the mix for a couple other big name receivers set to hit the free agent market in Kenny Stills and DeSean Jackson.
San Francisco 49ers
If not for the Cleveland Browns, the 49ers could be the dumpster fire of the NFL. It’s crazy to think that just a few years ago this team was dominating the NFC and almost won a Super Bowl. However, a plethora of losses on the defensive side of the ball, the departure of Jon Harbaugh and the decline of Kolin Kaepernick and you have a team that went 2-14 last season and will be picking 2nd overall in the upcoming draft. The question then becomes if they will select a quarterback with that pick or a later one. They have to draft a signal caller at some point in the draft with Kaepernick becoming a free agent and Blaine Gabbert not looking too impressive.
With a new head coach in Kyle Shanahan and rookie general manger in John Lynch, this team needs a complete turn around. They ranked dead last in the league last season in pass yards per game with just 181.9. Alshon Jeffery has had games with more receiving yards than that himself. If the 49ers do decide to bring in a rookie quarterback, having a veteran play maker outside like Jeffery can make the transition from college to the NFL a lot smoother.
Unlike the 49ers, the Titans look to be a few players away from being a contender in the AFC South. They have their franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota and a loaded backfield with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Rishard Mathews is a promising young wide out, but other than him the Titans lack a play making receiver. The Titans finished 25th overall in pass yards per game with 221.3.
They can definitely run the rock though, ranking 3rd overall in rush yards per game with 136.7. Pounding the ball can open up the play action and leave Alshon Jeffery with single coverage which will be a nightmare for any defense. We seen this team take some steps in the right direction this past season as they finished 9-7, their best mark since 2011 where they were 9-7 as well. With the addition of Jeffery, this offense can be very dynamic and make some noise in the AFC South.
Alshon Jeffery, 27, has 4,549 yards and 26 touchdowns in his 5 year career thus far. In 2013 and 2014 he topped 1,000 yards with ease. However, in the past two seasons he has only accumulated 1,628 yards in 21 games. When on the field and healthy, Jeffery is a difference maker and he will definitely be paid like one come this free agency. If the Bears are unable to get him signed, it will be interesting to see what teams emerge to grab him. The Eagles, 49ers and Titans all look to be in the mix as of right now, but as we all know with free agency, a team can come out of nowhere and make an offer he can’t refuse. Shoutout to the Godfather, let the free agency games begin!