What the Quick Signing of Rookie WR Alshon Jeffery Means for the Chicago Bears

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 08:  Alshon Jeffery #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates runs with the ball during their game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I know today is "Lions Day" and we'll get back to the Lions' rookies and draft in a minute, but it's worth noting that Bears GM Phil Emery continues to get the job done in Halas Hall.

Pro Football Talk has reported that second round pick Alshon Jeffery is not just the first Bears rookie to sign, but the first rookie to sign at all.

Jeffery reportedly signed a four-year deal today in what must be some kind of record for an other than No. 1 overall pick.

What does this mean, aside from Emery doesn't like ink to get dry?

Well for one, it means they do not want to risk any sort of holdout with their young wide receiver. With Brandon Marshall, a new face to begin with, there are a lot of changes happening in the Bears' passing game.

If they want the offense to come out of the gate swiftly, they need to get the receivers on the same page as their new quarterback. Cutler will want time with these guys to acclimate him to them and vice versa.

Cutler needs time to acclimate with his new receivers
Cutler needs time to acclimate with his new receiversJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jeffery has some issues with weight (likely overblown), which make some think of former Lions and current Seahawk receiver Mike Williams. He also struggles to get separation off the line and coming out of his breaks.

However, some of these issues can be dealt with in camp, and the sooner he's signed, the sooner the coaches can get working with him. On top of that, if they are worried about his weight, they can better keep an eye on it if he's signed and working with the team.

Secondly (and of less import), I think this also sets the tone for the rest of the Bears' rookies. Once McClellin's agent gets a hold of the numbers, he'll know more what he is looking at financially, on top of the info he gets with a standard rookie wage scale implemented last year.

With this comes the knowledge that the Bears want to get things done. They will pay what they will pay, rather than what the rookie market ends up dictating.

They moved first and dictated the market.

I have to say, I've come out of this draft impressed with Emery so far. While it will probably be several years before we can truly judge this class, he continues to move this franchise strongly in the direction he wants it to go.

As with the draft, he is dictating terms, not waiting for them.