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Bears place franchise tag on receiver Alshon Jeffery

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Bruschi: Jeffery 'indispensable' to Bears (1:17)

Tedy Bruschi and Damien Woody examine why the Bears decided to place the franchise tag on WR Alshon Jeffery and how important he is to Chicago's offense. (1:17)

The Chicago Bears have placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Friday.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Wednesday that the team was trying to negotiate a long-term deal with the veteran receiver, but placing the tag on Jeffery was an option to keep him with the team.

Jeffery appeared in just nine games last season because of a variety of health setbacks that began in training camp, when he suffered a serious calf strain in a closed walk-through practice before Chicago's preseason opener. Jeffery missed all four exhibition games, and his season was shut down in December with a hamstring injury.

When healthy, Jeffery is one of the Bears' top players on offense, catching 54 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns last season. He tied a franchise record with three straight 100-yard receiving games against Detroit, Minnesota and San Diego.

Jeffery currently has a dozen 100-yard receiving games in his four seasons with the Bears, tied for fifth most in franchise history. He set career highs with 89 catches for 1,421 yards in 2013. Jeffery also hauled in 10 touchdowns in 2014.

ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.