By Chris Emma–
(CBS) As the Bears began work in Lake Forest on Tuesday, top receiver Alshon Jeffery is in Miami.READ MORE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman Has 'Stepped Aside' Following Independent Probe Into 2010 Sexual Assault Claim Against Former Coach
Jeffery is continuing a rigorous offseason workout program in Miami and hasn’t joined the Bears at Halas Hall for OTAs, a source said. Jeffery’s agent, Tory Dandy of Relativity Sports, confirmed this as well.
“Alshon is getting in great shape, and he will certainly be with his team for mandatory activities,” Dandy said through text message. “There is no contract dispute. Alshon is under contract. He signed the tag, so no dispute.”
Jeffery has spent much of this offseason in Florida and away from the Bears facility. When the team gathered six weeks ago to begin organized workouts, Jeffery wasn’t present. He has worked with renowned personal trainer David Alexander of DBC Fitness.
For their part, the Bears would like Jeffery to be with the team.
“In a perfect world, we’d like him here with his teammates and building those relationships,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said then. “But I also understand that it’s voluntary, and that’s the option he’s taken.”READ MORE: SWAT Teams On Scene For Hours As Man Barricades Himself In Lemont Township Home With Child
Added Bears coach John Fox: “I’ve talked with Alshon, he understands how I feel.”
Back in February, the Bears tendered their franchise tag to Jeffery, which offers $14.599 million for the 2016 season. The Bears have been actively negotiating with Jeffery and his agent, with a deadline of July 15 to attain a long-term deal.
Jeffery’s attendance isn’t required until training camp, though it’s preferred by this Bears brass that he join the team at Halas Hall. Last season, tight end Martellus Bennett skipped OTAs as part of a contract dispute. That proved to be a factor in his eventual trade from Chicago to New England this offseason, with the Bears questioning his commitment.
Fox and players will be available for comment on Wednesday, the first of three practices open to the media in Lake Forest.MORE NEWS: Data Show More Than 100 Carjackings In Austin Community This Year, Just 5 Not Far Away In Hermosa