Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery's future in Chicago is far from certain, as many expected the Bears to place the franchise tag on him, but now there is a chance he could hit the free agent market, according to NFL Reporter Ian Rapoport.
There was speculation that the Bears could look to place the franchise tag on Jeffery before the March 1 deadline and potentially trade him to a team in need of star wide receiver for draft picks. The Bears have many free agent decisions to make this offseason and have already decided to let running back Matt Forte walk.
While Jeffery's future in Chicago next season is far from certain, tight end Martellus Bennett is reportedly not expected to be back next season. Bennett has one year left on his contract and would be a $6.3 million cap hit for the Bears in 2016. Instead the Bears are expected to re-sign tight end Zach Miller this offseason but will have to work out a deal in negotiations, as he is reportedly looking for $5 million a year in his next contract.
Miller had a breakout season in 2015 recording career highs in receptions (34), receiving yards (439) and touchdowns (5). Bears general manager Ryan Pace will likely look to bring Miller back at a cheaper price than Bennett, but it will likely depend on the market for tight ends.
The Bears' offense will look much different in 2016, and if Jeffery and Bennett are both gone next season, the Bears will look for their young players in running back Jeremy Langford and wide receiver Kevin White to step up as their offensive playmakers.