Alshon Jeffery was once considered as one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL. He has the size and athleticism to make opposing defensive coordinators lose sleep while also possessing an above average pair of hands. Unfortunately, injuries and off-the-field issues have derailed his career with the Chicago Bears over the last couple of seasons.
At this point in time, it looks likely that Jeffery will end up leaving the Bears in NFL free agency this offseason. If that is indeed the case, the market for him will be extremely hot right off the bat.
Looking ahead at the teams in need of help at the wide receiver position, there is one in particular that would make perfect sense for Jeffery.
It has been quite some time since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were viewed as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Coming into the 2016 season, very little hype surrounded Tampa Bay. Despite that fact, the Buccaneers have taken the NFL by storm and finished the season with a 9-7 record.
What is their biggest need heading into this offseason as they look to build upon the momentum that they have started this season? If you guessed wide receiver, you would be correct.
Signing Jeffery would be the step that takes the Buccaneers to the next level. Having that type of a threat for franchise quarterback Jameis Winston to utilize would be the icing on the cake for the Tampa Bay offense.
Considering the fact that the Buccaneers already have Mike Evans, the addition of Jeffery could very well give the Bucs one of the most dangerous aerial attacks in the league. Evans caught 96 passes for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Winston completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 4,090 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions.
Those numbers for Winston would increase dramatically with a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver. Tampa Bay hoped that Vincent Jackson could be that piece, but he went down with a season-ending injury and age has obviously been holding him back over the last couple years.
Even Pro Football Focus lists the Buccaneers as one of the top potential landing spots for Jeffery this offseason.
Jeffery suffered through another disappointing season, catching just 52 passes for 821 yards and two touchdowns. Part of his issues was the play of the Chicago quarterbacks. He had to play with Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley, which isn’t going to get the job done anywhere at the NFL level.
At just 26-years-old, Jeffery hasn’t even reached his ceiling from a potential standpoint. That is a scary thought. Just a couple short seasons ago in 2014, Jeffery caught 85 passes for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns.
If Jeffery could get back to the level that he showed in 2014, which playing with a star quarterback could potentially do for him, Jeffery and Evans would make for top-notch entertainment.
Will Tampa Bay be willing to pay the price that it will take to bring Jeffery on board? That is the question. It has become obvious that Buccaneers’ management is doing everything in their power to make the team a contender once again, which certainly makes signing Jeffery a real possibility.
All of that being said, it will be interesting to follow Jeffery this coming offseason and see where the next chapter of his career will be played. Other teams like the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams could make a play for him. Chicago might even decide to bring him back if he’s interested in that option.
Even with other solid destinations, none can offer him the opportunity that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can. He would be a superstar on an offense that could end up being one of the best playmaking offenses in this era of football.
Tampa Bay should pursue Jeffery in free agency and should be willing to pay top dollar to do so.
Do you think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be the best landing spot for free agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery? What other teams do you think should pursue him? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Jeff Haynes/AP Images]