By Chris Emma–
(CBS) The Bears have lost their top receiver.
Alshon Jeffery has agreed to sign with the Eagles, the team confirmed Thursday shortly after the new league year opened at 3 p.m. The deal is for one year and $14 million, according to reports, a sign that Jeffery wants to impress and then ink a big-money deal a year from now.
The 27-year-old Jeffery hit the open market for the first time in his five-year NFL career after the Bears declined to tender the franchise tag for a second straight offseason. That would’ve paid Jeffery more than $17 million.
Jeffery had 52 catches for 821 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games in 2016, when he missed four games because of a performance-enhancing drug suspension.
Last week, Bears general manager Ryan Pace spoke of the team’s decision to let Jeffery hit the open market.
“Sometimes when you can’t come to a common ground with a player and an agent, sometimes it’s necessary to kind of test the market to determine that player’s value,” Pace said at the NFL Combine. “That’s really where we’re at. He’s a good player, and we’ll see how it plays out. But I think there are certain instances where testing the market is a necessary part of the process.”
Pace and Jeffery’s party, led by Tory Dandy of CAA Sports, maintained a constant dialogue that continued throughout this week.