They were to be one of the most formidable pass-catching pairings in not just the NFC North or the NFC, but rather the entire NFL.
But instead of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White becoming a second set of 1,000-yard receivers in the last three years, the two wound up sharing not the football field, but spots on injured reserve from where they could only imagine the might-have-been.
With the Bears holding the option of securing Jeffery for one year at a guaranteed $14.4 million, and White coming off a full season missed with a stress fracture, the prospects of them being together for 2016 are excellent, with expectations to match.
“I think we’ll do something special,” said Jeffery, who led the Bears with 54 receptions and 807 yards despite missing seven full games and playing just 50.3 percent of the Bears’ offensive snaps.
White was drafted No. 7 overall, not as a hedge against losing Jeffery, but rather to replace Brandon Marshall, who had 1,295 receiving yards in 2013, with Jeffery topping out at 1,421. He and Jeffery developed a quiet friendship despite White missing the entire season, something that left the rookie wanting to see what the Bears would have with Jeffery and him on the field together. That was close to happening this year had the Bears been in playoff contention and were now gearing up for the postseason.
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“I would love to see that,” said White. “We have a good connection on and off the field, same agent [Eugene Parker], so we would love to play together.
“I think we can be really good, especially with the receivers we’ve got coming back, and just the chemistry we have with each other. That can turn into some great things on the field.”