BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- If Alshon Jeffery is upset over not receiving a long-term contract, he is certainly not expressing that sentiment publicly.
Jeffery shrugged after multiple questions on Thursday regarding his inability to finalize a multi-year agreement with the Chicago Bears prior to the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to do so.
“I’m here. I’m playing football. I’ve got a contract. I’m blessed,” Jeffery said.
Jeffery is guaranteed $14.599 million in 2016, but his future in Chicago beyond the upcoming season is very much up in the air.
Jeffery, however, had no interest in speculating about next offseason when he could reach free agency if the Bears don’t apply the franchise tag for a second consecutive year.
“Right now I’m in the process ... I’m focusing on football,” Jeffery said. “I’m just focused on this year. Anything else will take care of itself.”
Bears general manager Ryan Pace said on Wednesday that he expects Jeffery to have a big year after he missed seven games last season due to injuries. Jeffery still made 54 receptions for 807 yards and four touchdowns. He caught a combined 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2013 and 2014.
“He’s at a good spot right now,” Pace said. “And you know, those negotiations were friendly the whole time. And I don’t think it’s uncommon when you’re negotiating off the franchise tag to sometimes not come to an agreement. But that doesn’t mean there’s any ill will. So now we understand; we can revisit it after the season. But I’m optimistic. He’s a talented player. He knows he has to stay healthy. And we’ll see going forward.”