12 March, 2017
Receiver Alshon Jeffery has left the Bears after five seasons to sign a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eventually Jeffery would emerge as the team's No. 1 receiver over the last few years and in 63 games with the Bears he finished with 304 catches, 4,549 yards and 26 touchdowns.
The signing of Jeffery and Torrey Smith completely changes the offense for the Eagles.
Philadelphia had one of the NFL's worst group of wide receivers, but it improved significantly for second-year quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Smith caught 53 passes for 930 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons with the 49ers.
The structure of Jeffery's deal is rooted in the concerns that the Eagles, Bears and other teams had with committing to a player with availability issues. A season ago, opposing defenses had no reason to respect the deep ball, as none of the Eagles' receivers proved they could consistently make plays down the field.
"My job is just to go out and play football", Jeffery said.
"Nelson can have No.17", Jeffery said at his Friday press conference.More news: Central GST & Integrated GST law cleared in GST Council today
The addition of Jeffery in particular should allow Wentz to throw the ball up the field rather than conservatively east to west, which is where a number of his passes were thrown last season.
The Eagles also reached a one-year deal with guard Chance Warmack, formerly a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans.
Entering on a one-year, $14 million dollar deal, Jeffrey was possibly the top free agent on the market.
Doug Pederson ran a quick strike, West Coast offense much like that of Kansas City a year ago.
Roseman says that he believes that Jeffery's presence and Smith's ability to blow the cover off a defense is going to give Matthews a significant boost this season. The following season, Jeffery had another 1,000-yard campaign (1,133 yards) as well as a career-best 10 touchdowns.
"Obviously, this was a hard decision for us but we wish him and his family all the best".
"When I came here and I knew I was coming here", Smith said.
Following Jeffery's decision, former teammate Jordan Howard tweeted an animated image of himself shaking his head and later congratulated the receiver on his new deal.