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Alshon Jeffery might not get the franchise tag, but could just be negotiating tactic

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The San Francisco 49ers could use some wide receiver help, but if Alshon Jeffery is available, would they be willing to dip their toe in the market?

The Chicago Bears have some notable offensive free agents, with Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery both due to hit the market. Forte has been told he will not be back, but the team probably has slightly different thoughts about Jeffery. The wide receiver was their best pass catcher in 2015, with 54 receptions for 807 yards and a touchdown. It was a down year for him however, having exceeded 80 receptions each of the previous two seasons, with 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013 and 1,133 yards and ten touchdowns in 2014.

The biggest change was the loss of Brandon Marshall, but the team did spread the ball around a little bit more. Martellus Bennett finished with 53 receptions for 439 yards, and Matt Forte had 44 receptions for 389 yards. They got some help from others, but one has to wonder what Jeffery's numbers will look like moving forward if he is the No. 1, and does not have a Brandon Marshall opposite him. Fooch's update: I totally forgot he missed seven games due to injury.

There has been some talk that Jeffery would get the franchise tag, but Ian Rapoport is reporting a decision has not been made at this point. The wide receiver franchise tag is $14.5 million. If the Bears think Jeffery is more the 1,100+ yard receiver, they have plenty of cap space to slap the tag on him. If they are not sure, maybe they decide he is not worth the tag.

If they Bears did not tag him, what do you think the market ends up looking like for Jeffery? Do the 49ers dip their toe in the market, or will they look to the draft to add a potential play-maker opposite Torrey Smith (pending what happens with Anquan Boldin)?