There’s still time for teams to use the franchise tag, but the fact that several teams are already using it is a sign about the negotiations.
Of course, this was the expected move, though they were “actively and aggressively” negotiating this week.
Apparently those negotiations grew sedentary and passive.
They can still do a long-term deal with Jeffery until July 15, and many teams have gone that route in recent years with wide receivers. But this will keep him off the market for the short term, and guarantee the Bears have at least one proven commodity at the position this season.