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Alshon Jeffery gets franchise tag from Bears

Jeffery will be paid like a top-tier receiver, at least for next season.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears have placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Bears, and since then he has shown flashes of No. 1 receiver potential.

The two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. If they can't reach an agreement on a new contract, Jeffery will play under the franchise tag next season.

Either way, he'll be paid like a No. 1 receiver in 2016, with the franchise tag for wide receivers set at $14.6 million. His future in Chicago is anything but set in stone, however. Although the 26-year-old is guaranteed to stay with the Bears next season, they likely used the tag because of his injury concerns. Jeffery has missed 13 games in his young NFL career, including seven games this past season due to his calf, ankle, shoulder, groin and hamstring injuries.

Last season, Jeffery was well on his way to a career high in receiving yardage, until the injuries hit. In just nine games, he totaled 807 yards and four touchdowns. His best year was 2013, when he had 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns while playing in all 16 games.

Despite the injuries this past season, Jeffery still led the Bears in receiving yardage. Jeffery is a big playmaker in the Bears' offense, and one of the best red zone threats in the league.