Bears WR Alshon Jeffery suspended 4-games

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Alshon Jeffery
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Alshon Jeffery /

Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery suspended 4-games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy.

The Chicago Bears will be without top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for the next four games, after the fifth year player failed a drug test for performance enhancing drugs.

In nine games this season for the Bears, Jeffery has 40 catches for 630 yards and a touchdown. For his career, Jeffery has appeared in 60 games, catching 292 passes for 4358 yards and 25 touchdowns.

In place of the suspended Jeffery, the Bears will likely give the extra snaps to Eddie Royal, Cameron Meredith, Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson. Needless to say, the Bears receiver depth chart is incredible weak and will be an area that the team looks to upgrade in the off-season. The suspension does allow the Bears could cherry pick another wide receiver off of another teams’ practice squad and give him a four game audition.

Jeffery will be eligible to return from his suspension for the Bears’ December 18th game against division rival Green Bay.

What the suspension really costs Jeffery

The suspension could be quite costly for the 26-year old Jeffery. The suspension will cost Jeffery $3.6 million, for the four games this year. But the long-term implications for Jeffery could be more costly. Jeffery is currently on the franchise tag, and will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The suspension makes it unlikely the Bears will give Jeffery the franchise tag a second time. The current tag price is $14.599 million. If the Bears were to tag Jeffery again, it would be approximately $17.5 million. With a cap figure that high, Jeffery will be available on the free agent market.

NFL teams are extremely cautious when it comes to players with any off-field or drug issues. Before the suspension, Jeffery would likely have received a contract between $11 million and $13 million in base salary and between $4 million and $5 million guaranteed annually . That would have placed Jeffery among the top 12 highest paid wide receivers. But now, Jeffery will have settle for a contract with less guaranteed money, and a shorter contract.

In the off-season it is fair to guess that one NFL team will gamble on the former South Carolina receiver. It is not unreasonable to expect Jeffery to sign a 4-year contract worth $44 million and contain approximately $10 million guaranteed. Given the Bears lack of receiving talent, resigning Jeffery should still be a priority for the team.