He wasn't quite the enigma Jay Cutler was, but for the level of athleticism and flashes of success Alshon Jeffery enjoyed, his legacy in Chicago will be clouded by injury, suspension and contract squabbles. Now that Jeffery is in Philadelphia, how much will be the Bears miss him? Our NFC North writers weigh in.
Rob Demovsky, ESPN's Green Bay Packers reporter: Part of that depends on whether Kevin White ever becomes the player they thought he was when they drafted him seventh overall two years ago. Four games in two years and 19 career receptions doesn't settle the mind, but White's talent coming out of West Virginia was undeniable. For a rebuilding team to pay Jeffery top-receiver money probably didn't make a lot of sense, anyway. GM Ryan Pace should follow Ted Thompson's plan in Green Bay, where he drafts at receiver for Aaron Rodgers almost every year to make sure the cupboard is never bare.
Ben Goessling, ESPN's Minnesota Vikings reporter: Jeffery never quite followed up on his scintillating 2013 season -- he had 1,133 yards in 2014, but dealt with injuries and a suspension after that. Still, he was the one Bears receiver that defenses had to account for at all times. The Vikings had cornerback Xavier Rhodes shadow Jeffery on a number of occasions, as they've done with receivers they deem to be a unique threat. Jeffery's size certainly would have made him an inviting target for Mike Glennon (and Mitchell Trubisky, whenever he takes over the starting job). The Bears might get something from Victor Cruz, and they have intriguing options in Cameron Meredith and Markus Wheaton, but they could certainly use a game-breaking receiver. Perhaps White will finally emerge in his third season.
Michael Rothstein, ESPN's Detroit Lions reporter: That hinges on his health. When Jeffery is able to stay on the field, he's a dynamic receiver who could have given Glennon or Trubisky a legitimate No. 1 option and deep-threat safety blanket to rely on in tough situations. But Jeffery has played in 16 games in only two of his five seasons -- including 10 games last season, with 52 catches for 821 yards. That said, the Bears don't have an exciting group of receivers right now -- White and Meredith are the most intriguing players -- but there's a chance someone could end up being a surprise. If that doesn't happen, though, the Bears will miss Jeffery -- but they won't regret letting him go in free agency because of how much the franchise has to do to rebuild.