With the NFL trade deadline looming on Tuesday, the Chicago Bears have an intriguing conundrum of what to do with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Due to his salary cap hit for next season, the team may not be able to move the high-priced wide out, who could potentially make a major difference down the stretch for a team in contention, as opposed to the Bears who are 1-6 and taking on water.
In order to keep Jeffery off the free agent market next season, the team that makes a deal for him would have to pay him $17.5 million next year on top of the $7.7 million he will command over the final eight games of the season this year.
Jeffery has played in all seven games so far in 2016 for Chicago, but has yet to find the endzone. He played in just nine games last season while hampered by injury, but still caught four touchdowns. The year before, he cracked double-digit scores for the only time in his career, which was the last season in which he played all 16 games. Having undergone quarterback changes this year, he has grabbed 32 passes for 520 yards, which leaves him on pace for the best average of his career in terms of yards per catch.
The Bears are the only team Jeffery has known after being taken in the second-round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of South Carolina. He made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and holds the franchise’s single-game record for receiving yards. He is currently playing the 2016 season under the franchise tag.