Alshon Jeffery had Chicago Bears fans doing a double-take last winter when he made a very bold guarantee after the team’s season-ending loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
“I guarantee you we’re going to win the Super Bowl next year,” Jeffery told reporters in a curious stance to take from a player on a team in its third straight losing season with a lot of work to do in the rebuild process.
As it turns out, Jeffery might have been onto something … if only he was a little bit more specific with his “we” he would look like some sort of oracle with the ability to see into the future.
“I never said a team though,” Jeffery said, via ESPN’s Tim McManus, basically suggesting his guarantee was going to travel with him wherever he played in 2017. “I never said a team.”
All is well that ends well, at least from Jeffery’s perspective. He’s on pace for 61 catches and 907 receiving yards, which is down from the kind of production that came during his healthy years in Chicago, Jeffery is on pace for 10 touchdown receptions after catching just six in his last two seasons with the Bears. More important than that, Jeffery is on a team with the NFC’s best record and can stake a claim to being the NFL’s best team. It seems as if that carries more weight than the big-money contract he didn’t get when he hit the free agent market last offseason.
“Winning championships, that’s most important to me,” Jeffery told reporters. “A lot of players make a lot of money, but some of them never make the playoffs, never get to experience a lot of things.”
The Bears passed on handing Jeffery the franchise tag, which allowed him to sign a one-year “prove it” deal with the Eagles. In Philadelphia, Jeffery is getting the opportunity to experience winning and a shot at the playoffs, two things that were elusive in Chicago.
Jeffery will be a free agent at season’s end after a 2017 campaign that has put him in a prime position to cash in. Whether he stands by his proclamation of valuing winning over cash earnings after his first taste of team success remains to be seen.