Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has signed his franchise player tender, the Bears announced Tuesday.
The franchise tag puts Jeffery’s 2016 salary of $14.599 million on the team’s cap as the league year opens Wednesday. The Bears announced a day before last week’s deadline that they’d be using the tag on Jeffery to keep him off the open market.
Jeffery and the Bears can still negotiate a long-term contract through July 15. If the sides don’t reach a new deal, he’ll play this season for $14.599 million and again be eligible for free agency next winter.
Signing the tender means Jeffery is required to attend mandatory team offseason events.
Jeffery, who just turned 26, missed seven games due to injury last season but had recorded more than 2,500 receiving yards over the previous two seasons. He has 24 touchdown catches in his four-year career.