The Chicago Bears want Alshon Jeffery at their training facilities. Bears' coaches, players and fans can be at ease knowing that Alshon Jeffery did sign the one-year tender offer that is given to players who were franchise tagged this offseason. Problem is that he has not been seen in Hallas Hall, where the Bears train since signing the tender. Thus far Jeffery has missed the Bears' OTA's.
Missing an offseason program is taboo for most NFL teams, as well as players. In the case with Alshon Jeffery, missing out on OTA's had an uneven response.
OTA's are voluntary in the NFL. Most teams conduct them a couple of weeks prior to the draft. The Chicago Bears were no exception. Some importance was placed on the Bears' offseason program this time out. New offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is installing his variations of the scheme that the Bears used last season. Opportunities to build continuity in the offense was missed by Alshon Jeffery, who opted to workout in Florida as wanted to get healthy.
Hamstring and other soft tissue injuries halted Jeffery's fifth season with the Chicago Bears. His purpose is simply to reverse the course of his injury-plagued 2015 season.There is a feeling that the Chicago Bears wish that Jeffery would get with their training staff. Whether that is a proven fact remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, the Bears want Alshon Jeffery in Chicago. Dowell Loggains admitted as such when he spoke with reporters (courtesy of ESPN Chicago) prior to the start of rookie mini-camp.
"We all wish Alshon was here. We're in constant communication with him. He knows how we feel about the situation and him. But it is an opportunity for some of these different receivers that we like to get opportunities, and we'll find out more about them."One those receivers is second-year player Kevin White. White did not play an NFL snap in his rookie season. A fractured shin kept him on the sidelines and in the Bears' classroom. Fans are all waiting with bated breath to see how White responds after a redshirt year.
Is Kevin White worth the hype and praise? Loggains believes so. The entire Chicago Bears' coaching staff believes so. Comparisons to receiving greats (via NFL.com) Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson come to their minds when they think of White.Dowell Loggains spoke of White's development after discussing Alshon Jeffery.
"I can tell you about Kevin White's character, and he's everything that we expected. He's a hard worker. His attitude is contagious because he is very positive; he doesn't have bad days. I think that between him and Eddie [Royal] and some of the other receivers, they're bringing out the best of each other, and competition does that. We feel good about the receiver room. It's a deep room and they're making each other better."While the Chicago Bears are getting to know Kevin White and the other receivers, it is hard not to wonder about Alshon Jeffery's contract status. Contract talks between the Bears and Jeffery have continued after the NFL Draft, and are ongoing today. A classic case of no news is good news can be assumed. The good thing is that the deadline to come to an agreement on a long-term agreement is July 15. There is plenty of time to hammer things out with the Pro Bowl receiver, but time is of the essence if the Bears want to pair him with White.
Business is business. The Chicago Bears need Alshon Jeffery available at Hallas Hall to work on chemistry with the other receivers, not to mention Jay Cutler. Offensively, things are going to be different. Not vastly different, but there is a new voice calling the plays on the sidelines. It is hard to build a rapport when all parties are not present.
Ironing out contract details are another matter that would be helpful if Alshon Jeffery and the Bears were together. The longer he continues to train in Florida, the less the Bears can get a read on his desire to be with the team. No one knows the truth from a distance. Only Alshon Jeffery knows how he feels. What we know is that the Chicago Bears want Alshon Jeffery at Hallas Hall.
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]