Alshon Jeffery's future with the Bears may be in limbo, but he's confident the team will take a step forward next season. A huge step at that.
"I guarantee you we are going to win the Super Bowl next year," Jeffery said to reporters after a 38-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
The talented wideout's prediction is an audacious claim on the heels of a 3-13 campaign, but it wouldn't be the first time the Bears made a remarkable turnaround. The team finished 5-11 in 2004 before going on to appear in Super Bowl XLI just two seasons later.
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For Jeffery, it's been a frustrating year. He finished with a career-low two touchdowns and failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. In November, he was suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substances policy.
Jeffery is set to become a free agent this offseason, unless Ryan Pace and company elect to use the franchise tag on him again.
If the five-year veteran does return to Soldier Field, we'll see if he can make good on his bold guarantee.
Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.
According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.
The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.
For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.
Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.
The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night.
Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.
For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.