An already talented free-agent class may soon include one of the NFL's most explosive young receivers.
Jeffery, Rapoport adds, thus has a chance to hit the open market next month.
The Bears could certainly still opt for the franchise tag in the coming weeks, and a long-term extension remains a possibility regardless of whether he first becomes a free agent.
But the relative uncertainty for the time being may prove to be telling for Jeffery's situation overall.
The 26-year-old struggled to stay healthy throughout the 2015 campaign, suiting up for just nine games in his only season under the Bears' current management regime.
General manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox will now have a difficult decision to make that's largely based on Jeffery's two years of production before they arrived in Chicago.
Jeffery's incredibly high ceiling will have him in line for a significant pay day regardless, though it remains to be seen if he's considered a long-term option in the Windy City.