Alshon Jeffrey is a free agent at the end of this season. We all know that.
Ryan Pace needs to sign the extension now. Why is this so urgent? We need to accelerate as much of Alshon’s signing bonus and salary into this season as we can. We are done for this year (and likely next year). Putting as much money as possible into this year does nothing but benefit us in later years when we may need a bit of cap room to put us over the top to reach a playoff spot. Phil Emery made the classic error of waiting until the season was over, and THEN signing Cutler to his deal, wasting a full year of salary cap pro-ration. That especially hurt us seeing the structure and size of Cutler’s contract and is likely one of the main reasons he is gone. He didn’t get it.
While we are at it, I wouldn’t mind seeing some cuts this year to free up cap room for players we don’t really have any intention of signing (Willie Young, among others) so we could get some more deals done. We need a short term extension for the Black Unicorn and I wouldn’t mind seeing Long get an extension even though we are still a year out on his deal. Again, accelerating Long’s money into this year and what is likely another “tank” year in 2016 does nothing but help the future.
The way the Bears are running Forte into the ground, I don’t think we have any intention of signing him, unless he would give us a sweetheart deal. He might have to anyways. The market for aging NFL running backs does not exist – especially ones over 30 with some injury history.
If the season ends and then we see Pace sign Jeffrey (wasting a year of salary cap pro-ration), we will know right then and there that he doesn’t get it. But I think he does.