Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh believes Alshon Jeffery had his best offseason since perhaps 2013, when Jeffery burst onto the scene and set career highs in catches (89) and yards (1,421) while finding the end zone seven times.
Groh would know. He was the Chicago Bears' receivers coach for three seasons (2013-15), which proved to be the most productive years of Jeffery's career to date. Groh moved on to coach the Rams' wideouts last year while Jeffery struggled through a down season as the result of injuries, a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and inconsistent quarterback play.
The two have reunited in Philly, and Groh -- a demanding teacher and evaluator -- walked away pleased with Jeffery's performance during the offseason training program.
"He and I have a history together, so he knows what I think, and I understand the way that he works and goes about his business," Groh said. "I think the spring that he's had is as good as he's had since maybe 2013. Pleased with where he is physically, mentally I think he is in a good place. He's coming in here and learning a new system and working on the chemistry with Carson [Wentz] and everything like that, but it's been a good spring for him."
In 53 games since his sophomore season, Jeffery has averaged 5.3 receptions for 79 yards and 0.43 touchdowns, or 16.0 PPG (PPR). That’s about what Doug Baldwin averaged last year as the league’s #8 fantasy receiver. Jeffery’s numbers are down a bit over the last two years (5.1-78-0.29 in just 21 games), but the 27-year-old still has a bright future ahead of him. Receivers who change teams tend to underperform unless they see an upgrade in quarterback and/or targets. Unless Carson Wentz takes a big step forward, it’s unlikely that Jeffery sees either, so he’s more of a WR2 heading into the 2017 season.
It's reportedly a one-year deal worth $14 million. In 53 games since his sophomore season, Jeffery has averaged 5.3 receptions for 79 yards and 0.43 touchdowns, or 16.0 PPG (PPR). That’s about what Doug Baldwin averaged last year as the league’s #8 fantasy receiver. Jeffery’s numbers are down a bit over the last two years (5.1-78-0.29 in just 21 games), but he still has plenty of potential. The signing is a clear upgrade for Carson Wentz, who now has a receiving corps of Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz. Matthews' stock certainly takes a hit with the acquisition of Jeffery, who is likely to be ranked as a fantasy WR2 in our preseason projections.
Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:42pm
Some help is on the way for Matt Barkley.
On Monday, Alshon Jeffery is scheduled to return from a four-game PED suspension, which presumably gives Barkley a legitimate weapon in the passing game next week, when the Chicago Bears face the Green Bay Packers.
The story was mainly about Barkley and how he's performed pretty well since taking over for Jay Cutler. The addition of Jeffery should only help that. And it's good news for Jeffery owners who may not see all that much of a step down with Barkely now running the offense. Jeffery could very well be a playable option this week when our rankings come out.
Friday, November 18, 2016, 6:41pm
Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6:12pm
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 6:11pm
There is no question about Jeffery’s talent.
At 26, Jeffery is one of the most productive receivers in franchise history with 292 receptions for 4,358 yards and 25 touchdowns. Jeffery isn’t the fastest player on the field, but he skillfully uses his 6-foot-3 frame to create separation on both underneath and downfield routes.
Jeffery may not be a top-five receiver, but if he reaches the open market, he will be paid like one. The suspension will not reduce Jeffery’s asking price.
The concern with Jeffery boils down to availability. One reason Chicago hesitated to lock up Jeffery long-term last offseason is that he played in only nine games due to a variety of soft-tissue injuries. Jeffery’s mission in 2016 was to prove to the NFL he can stay healthy, and he’d been active in all nine of the Bears’ regular-season games.
Jeffery will be eligible to return Week 15 which is fantasy playoff time for most leagues. While he could still help teams in the fantasy playoffs, Jeffery hasn't been great this season, especially the last three weeks. Despite scoring his only TD of the season in Week 7, he has just 11 catches for 143 yards in that three-game span. For the season, he has just one 100-yard game which came in Week 1. Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal look to assume the top-two WR spots for now and Josh Bellamy could also be in the mix for more snaps. Injured Marquess Wilson may return while Jeffery is out. TE Zach Miller also gets a bump. It's an obvious downgrade for Jay Cutler.
Friday, November 11, 2016, 7:00pm
Bears WR Eddie Royal (toe, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 10. Royal might be able to return this week. He’ll likely serve as the third or fourth option behind Alshon Jeffery and Zach Miller.
Thursday, November 10, 2016, 6:38pm
Five-plus weeks into the NFL season, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery has been targeted with 31 passes, making him tied with eight other players for 49th in the NFL. There are six players ahead of Jeffery that have played only four games, including teammate Kevin White. Despite the exodus of other top targets like Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte, Jeffery's targets per game average is down to 6.2 a week after averaging 9.4 per game over the last three seasons.
Still, Bears coach John Fox does not necessarily think Jeffery needs to be thrown the ball more often.
"We would like to have the ball more. We would like to score more points," Fox said Friday, per the Chicago Tribune. "But there's only one ball, and it's hard to get it to everybody. I think he has been what I would consider -- I think our opponents do too -- pretty productive."
While Fox doesn't seem to mind, publicly at least, the fact is Jeffery is more talented than Eddie Royal and Zachary Miller, who have more catches than Jeffery this season. Considering the team is 1-4 and averaging just 17 points a game, this is something that may change sooner than later.
Friday, October 14, 2016, 6:25pm
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 6. At this point it’s bigger news if Jeffery isn’t on the injury report. He should continue to play through the injury, but isn’t being fed the ball as he was last year. The Bears play early on Sunday.
Thursday, October 13, 2016, 7:01pm
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) took limited practice reps again Thursday. At this point it’s bigger news if Jeffery isn’t on the injury report. He should continue to play through the injury, but isn’t being fed the ball as he was last year.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 6:42pm
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) took limited practice reps Wednesday. At this point it’s bigger news if Jeffery isn’t on the injury report. He should continue to play through the injury, but isn’t being fed the ball as he was last year.
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